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Key legislators endorse Forry

In her race against two challengers for the vacated First Suffolk District state senate, Linda Dorcena Forry is leaving little to chance.

Howard Manly | 4/18/2013, noon

In her race against two challengers for the vacated First Suffolk District state senate, Linda Dorcena Forry is leaving little to chance.

During a wide-ranging interview with the Bay State Banner, Forry detailed her door-to-door campaigning in the state’s most diverse district, which stretches from the more conservative sections of South Boston to liberal-leaning sections of Dorchester, Mattapan and Hyde Park.

Forry recalled her first election in 2005 after the sudden departure of then Speaker of the House Thomas Finneran, who resigned after pleading guilty to obstruction of justice charges. There were several candidates for the 12th Suffolk district state house seat during the special election, and Forry managed to win her first election.

“I can remember knocking on doors of people who had my opponents’ signs in their front yards,” she said. “The way I see it, we are all neighbors.”

The first generation Haitian American woman learned progressive politics in the early 1990s when she worked as a legislative aide for rising political star and then State Rep. Charlotte Golar-Richie, elected in 1994.

But she already knew the neighborhoods of her district growing up in Dorchester.

She attended St. Kevin Grammar School and Monsignor Ryan Memorial High School in Dorchester before graduating from Boston College’s Carroll School of Management in 1997. She is now a candidate for a master’s in public administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government (2013).

At the State House, Forry serves as the House Chair of the Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Business.

Forry is now seeking the vacant state senate seat in the First Suffolk District that was left when Jack Hart, a South Boston native, stepped down to take a job in the private sector. Hart held the First Suffolk seat from 2002 until 2013. He was preceded by current U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, a South Boston native who held the seat from 1996 to 2001. Lynch was preceded by South Boston native and Senate President William Bulger, who held the seat for 25 years from 1971 through 1996.

Also now vying for the seat are South Boston’s 4th Suffolk District Rep. Nick Collins, 30, and Maureen Dahill, 43, who is considered a long shot and is best known for her local blog “Lost In Southie.”

The Special Election for the district seat is on April 30. On the Republican side is challenger Joseph Ureneck, a Dorchester businessman.

Despite repeated attempts, Collins refused to answer questions from the Bay State Banner. Collins also refused to participate in a survey by the NAACP New England Area Conference (NEAC), which gave him a “F” in the civil rights organization’s legislative report card.

“Rep. Collins failed to respond to NEAC’s letter,” stated Juan Cofield, NEAC president. “His failure to respond would suggest a substandard grade since NEAC has no way to evaluate his understanding of the issues important to the communities of color.”

Collins voted for the controversial “three strikes bill,” which was, according to Cofield, “contrary to the overwhelming desire of communities of color.”