Long search for OCPF chief likely to spill into 2021

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (SHNS) – The restrictions on the public from entering the State House and the uncertainty of Jim Lyons’s position as head of the Massachusetts Republican Party means that Michael Sullivan will likely have to wait at least another couple of months to resume his retirement from the Office of Campaign and Political Finance.

Sullivan got called out of retirement in June to resume his duties as the state’s chief campaign finance regulator after the COVID-19 pandemic stalled the search for his replacement. He had initially retired at the end of 2019, but Secretary of State William Galvin asked him to come back until a successor could be found.

The search commission led by Galvin whittled the pool of applicants to six finalists in March before legislative leaders closed the State House to the public, complicating the public interview phase of the hiring process. With the election over, Galvin told the News Service through a spokeswoman that his focus is on completing the vote certification and getting through the Electoral College proceedings in December.

“After that is completed, the group does still wish to conduct in-person interviews. With the building still closed to the public, alternative arrangements will need to be explored,” said Galvin spokeswoman Deb O’Malley.

The search commission is made up of Galvin, Democratic Party Chairman Gus Bickford, Boston College Law School Dean Vincent Rougeau and Lyons, the chairman of state Republican Party. While Bickford was reelected to another term as chair earlier this month, Lyons faces a challenge from within the MassGOP and party leadership elections won’t be held until January.

“We also want to make sure only one round of in-person interviews is necessary, so we need to take into consideration that one of the parties is still in the process of selecting a state party chair,” O’Malley said, suggesting the secretary would prefer to wait until after the MassGOP elections to conduct interviews.

The finalists to become the next director of the OCPF were House counsel James Kennedy, Woburn City Clerk William Campbell, OCPF Director of Communications and Education Jason Tait, OCPF Director of Auditing Shane Slater, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Sady and Assistant Suffolk County District Attorney Melissa Brooks.

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