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Miranda, Elugardo running for 2nd Suffolk Senate district

Yawu Miller
Yawu Miller is the Banner’s senior editor. VIEW BIO
Miranda, Elugardo running for 2nd Suffolk Senate district
State Reps Liz Miranda and Nika Elugardo

The race for the newly-drawn 2nd Suffolk District seat is open, and state Reps. Liz Miranda and Nika Elugardo are in.

The representatives, both of whom were elected in 2018, are the first two candidates campaigning for the state Senate district, which, through the Legislature’s redistricting process, has shed most of its South End precincts, decreased its footprint in Jamaica Plain and expanded in Dorchester and Mattapan.

Miranda lives in Roxbury and currently represents the 5th Suffolk District, which includes precincts in Dorchester and Roxbury. She says she’s running for the Senate seat to better represent her constituents.

“I’m centering my campaign on economic opportunity and health equity,” she said. “I know that in running for this seat, not only would I be representing the 2nd Suffolk District, [but also] representing Black people in the commonwealth of Massachusetts.”

Miranda, who is Cape Verdean, grew up in Roxbury and Dorchester, graduated from Wellesley College and is a member of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority. On Wednesday, she held her campaign kickoff party at the restaurant Soleil in Nubian Square.

Elugardo grew up in Columbus, Ohio, and came to the Boston area to attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Urban Planning. She represents the 15th Suffolk District, which includes much of Jamaica Plain as well as several Brookline precincts.

Elugardo decided to run for the 2nd Suffolk seat, she said, to work on economic development in the Senate.

“I feel I’m ready to bring the integrity of my bold vision to the Senate,” she said. “I’m going to continue my work on housing and continue to shift the state’s work on economic development, moving away from a charity model to an investment model.”

The 2nd Suffolk seat has since 2009 been represented by Sonia Chang-Diaz, who identifies as Latina and is now running for governor. It was the first majority-minority district drawn in the state and in 1974, elected the state’s first Black state senator, Bill Owens.

While voters won’t weigh in until the September 2022 primary, candidates typically begin putting together campaign teams and fundraising in the final months of the year before an election, allowing them to secure contributions and get an early pick of campaign staff.

Miranda has retained campaign strategists Wilnelia Rivera and Gina Cristo. Elugardo said she’s in conversation with several campaign operatives but has not yet formed a team.

Others reportedly considering a run for the 2nd Suffolk District seat include Miniard Culpepper, pastor of the Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church; 12th Baptist Church Senior Pastor Willie Bodrick; and former 2nd Suffolk state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson, who lost to Chang-Diaz in the 2008 primary before being indicted and serving three-and-a-half years in federal prison on public corruption charges.

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