It was bittersweet end to a stellar career for Senator Anthony Petruccelli last Thursday.
Petruccelli entered the Senate Chambers for the last time to a standing ovation from colleagues and a packed gallery of friends, family, supporters and staff members.
“You only have one chance to do this so I may take some time and make sure I thank everyone I can for their love and support over these past 17 years,” said Petruccelli.
But before Petruccelli could give his farewell speech, two colleagues, Senators Benjamin Downing and Thomas McGee rose and were recognized by Senate President Stan Rosenberg to provide some insight into Petruccelli’s time in the Senate.
Sen. Downing was first and thanked Petruccelli for his service and called him a true student of the senate who had a knack for digesting complex legislation and being able to push important bills through. Downing pointed to Petruccelli’s work on the Domestic Workers bill as an example of Petruccelli’s commitment to his constituents and his willingness to fight for issues that helped put people throughout the Commonwealth on the same playing field.
Sen. McGee said he would remember Petruccelli’s sense of humor, intelligence and the ability to make the Senate fun as a way to balance to the serious work the body was doing on a day to day basis. McGee said Petruccelli could always ease situations whether it was diverting the stress of the day to conversations about college football, food or stories about his two children’s successes.
The senators said they would miss serving with Petruccelli, who they both consider a close friend and ally, but wished him luck in his new endeavor. They both understood his decision and said the choice to leave the Senate was indicative of Petruccelli’s character as a family man.
Petruccelli, unlike some other farewell speeches by elected officials who tend to point to their accomplishments during their tenure, chose to use the opportunity to thank the countless people that helped him in his career. From the late Albert “Junior” Lombardi to former Senate President Robert Travaglini to his dedicated staff to his friends, Petruccelli said they each had a role in his successes over the years and he could not have gotten this far in life without their support.
However, Petruccelli said going from a kid growing up on the streets of East Boston in Jeffries Point to the Senate Majority Whip would not have happened without the support of his family. The support he received from his parents, Richie and Dianne, his brother, Rich and sisters, Diana and Debra, since he first ran for office in 1999 made all the difference in the world and would be something he would never forget.
He ended by saying the sacrifice his wife, Alessandra, and children, Alexa and Anthony, made throughout the years as his career went from the House in 1999 to the Senate in 2007 was something that wasn’t easy and he will be forever grateful for their love and support throughout his career.