BOSTON (State House News Service) – Former Veterans’ Services Secretary Francisco Urena is taking on a role at MassGOP where he will “help lead” the party’s Veterans Coalition, the party announced Sunday evening. Urena’s new role represents one of his first political moves since he was forced to resign in the wake of the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home tragedy.
And it comes as the state Republican party is still managing the fallout from a state committee members’ anti-gay remarks and Chairman Jim Lyons’ handling of the situation.
“Massachusetts veterans know firsthand what it’s like to make important sacrifices, and they should know they have an important voice in public affairs,” Urena said in a statement issued by MassGOP. “I’m excited to help them pursue opportunities to serve in public office in any way I can.”
MassGOP announced the creation of the Veterans Coalition in August 2020, saying it will provide Massachusetts veterans with a Republican-based platform. John MacDonald, a veteran who served in Operation Desert Storm, was tasked with leading the group. The former secretary will join MacDonald and MassGOP Veterans Coalition co-chairmen Adam Hogue.
Lyons called Urena “a decorated Massachusetts veteran and quite frankly a war hero, but he’s the last guy who will tell you that.” “He has honorably served our commonwealth, he’s a proud Republican, and we’re lucky to have him joining us,” Lyons said in a statement.