From Telegram & Gazette
By Cyrus Moulton
LEOMINSTER — City Councilor at-Large Susan Chalifoux Zephir announced today that she is running for the Massachusetts State Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Jennifer Flanagan.
“Cities and towns across our region each have their own unique strengths and challenges,” said Ms. Chalifoux Zephir in a press release. “I look forward to meeting as many people as I can, listening to their concerns and earning their support.
Ms. Flanagan is giving up her seat representing the Worcester and Middlesex District, which includes the municipalities of Berlin, Bolton, Clinton, Fitchburg, Gardner, Lancaster, Leominster, Lunenburg, Sterling, Townsend, and Westminster, after being selected by Gov. Charles D. Baker Jr. to serve on the state Cannabis Control Commission.
A special election will be held Dec. 5 to fill the seat. Michael Kushmerek of Fitchburg and Michael Mahan of Leominster have also announced plans to run for the post.
Ms. Chalifoux Zephir, a Democrat, is executive director of Ginny’s Helping Hand Inc., a community-based food pantry that serves individuals and families across Central Massachusetts. She also served on the Board of Directors for Our Father’s house, an organization based in Fitchburg that provides emergency and transitional housing to those in need.
Ms. Chalifoux Zephir is a trustee of Leominster Public Library and is on the board of the Leominster Education Foundation.
She received her bachelor’s degree from Assumption College and her MBA from Simmons College, and previously worked in public television as a production and business manager. Ms. Chalifoux Zephir is married to Ed Zephir, a local business owner, and is the mother of three grown girls and a first-time grandmother.
Ms. Chalifoux Zephir said that as an eight-year elected official in Leominster she has consistently focused on attracting jobs and investing in local schools.
“Good schools and reliable transportation infrastructure are key to successful, sustainable economic growth and good jobs,” Ms. Chalifoux Zephir said.
Ms. Chalifoux Zephir also cited addiction treatment and prevention as critical to the long-term health and vibrancy of communities.
“As the mother of three girls, I know the important work begun by Sen. Flanagan must continue to ensure that people who need addiction treatment receive it,” Ms. Chalifoux Zephir said. “Opioid addiction in Massachusetts is a crisis that threatens an entire generation.”