SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) – Outgoing U.S. Senator John Kerry is criss-crossing the Commonwealth Thursday on a ‘farewell’ tour, and made his first stop Springfield.
At a gathering at the YWCA in Springfield, Kerry was introduced by Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and U.S. Representative Richard Neal.
In his remarks, Kerry said it was a “bittersweet” moment to leave the Senate, having just been confirmed that the nation’s next Secretary of State.
Kerry’s resignation from the Senate takes effect at 4:00 p.m. Friday. Governor Deval Patrick has named his former Chief of Staff William “Mo” Cowan as interim Senator until a special election is held in June.
But on this day, Kerry thanked supporters and looked forward to his new challenge.
“This is not an ending. I am privileged now to start four years of a journey with the President of the United States and administration to try to help bring peace, to address the scourge of violence in so many parts of the world,” says Kerry.
Kerry also acknowledged the YouthBuild program which he was credited with helping to procure federal funding.
Jorge Watson is a YouthBuild member. “Being here is like an overwhelming experience because John Kerry was a big supporter of YouthBuild so just to be in the same room as him is awesome,” says Watson.
And while Kerry thanked supporters, some of them like Longmeadow’s Candy Glazer returned the favor.
“It’s a very historic day for us in Massachusetts, I’ve been a long time supporter and friend of John Kerry and I am proud to be here today to congratulate him and wish him well,” says Glazer.
Kerry left Springfield with a closing thought. “We’re not saying goodbye. We’re just moving to the next chapter, thank you and God bless,” said Kerry.
Kerry left Springfield around 11:30 a.m. en route to another event in Worcester and his tour will conclude Thursday night in Boston.