Michael J. Barrett

Last updated
Michael Barrett
Barrett Wiki Photo.JPG
Senator Barrett testifies at a committee hearing.
Member of the Massachusetts Senate from the 3rd Middlesex District
Assumed office
Preceded by Susan Fargo
Member of the Massachusetts Senate from the Middlesex and Suffolk District
In office
Preceded by George Bachrach
Succeeded by Warren Tolman
Member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from the 21st Middlesex District
In office
Preceded by Nils Nordberg [1]
Succeeded by Geoffery C. Beckwith [2]
Personal details
Born (1948-06-27) June 27, 1948 (age 70)
Agana, Guam
Political party Democratic
Residence Lexington, Massachusetts
Alma mater Harvard College
Northeastern University School of Law

Michael John Barrett (born June 27, 1948 in Agana, Guam [3] ) is the state senator for the 3rd Middlesex District of Massachusetts. Barrett served in the State Senate once before, in 1987-1994, representing another district (Cambridge, Belmont, Watertown and the Allston-Brighton neighborhood of Boston), before moving to his present home in suburban Lexington 17 years ago. Even earlier, in 1979-1985, he served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from Reading, North Reading and a portion of Wilmington. [4]

Hagåtña, Guam Village in Guam, United States

Hagåtña is the capital village of the United States territory of Guam. From the 18th through mid-20th century, it was Guam's population center, but today it is the second smallest of the island's 19 villages in both area and population. However, it remains one of the island's major commercial districts in addition to being the seat of government.

Massachusetts State of the United States of America

Massachusetts, officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It borders on the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island to the south, New Hampshire and Vermont to the north, and New York to the west. The state is named after the Massachusett tribe, which once inhabited the east side of the area, and is one of the original thirteen states. The capital of Massachusetts is Boston, which is also the most populous city in New England. Over 80% of Massachusetts's population lives in the Greater Boston metropolitan area, a region influential upon American history, academia, and industry. Originally dependent on agriculture, fishing and trade, Massachusetts was transformed into a manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution. During the 20th century, Massachusetts's economy shifted from manufacturing to services. Modern Massachusetts is a global leader in biotechnology, engineering, higher education, finance, and maritime trade.

Massachusetts Senate

The Massachusetts Senate is the upper house of the Massachusetts General Court, the bicameral state legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Senate comprises 40 elected members from 40 single-member senatorial districts in the state. All but one of the districts are named for the counties in which they are located. Senators serve two-year terms, without term limits. The Senate convenes in the Massachusetts State House, in Boston.


Early life

Barrett is a 1970 graduate of Harvard College and 1977 graduate of the Northeastern University School of Law, after which he clerked for a federal judge in Washington, DC [5]

Harvard College main undergraduate school of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Harvard College is the undergraduate liberal arts college of Harvard University. Founded in 1636 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, it is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and one of the most prestigious in the world.

Northeastern University School of Law(NUSL) is the law school of Northeastern University in Boston. The School of Law is nationally recognized for its public interest law and cooperative legal education programs.

Washington, D.C. Capital of the United States

Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington or D.C., is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, first President of the United States and Founding Father. As the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city is also one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually.

State Representative

Barrett was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1978. [6] He ran for a seat in the United States House of Representatives in 1984, losing the Democratic primary in the Massachusetts's 7th congressional district to Ed Markey. [7]

United States House of Representatives lower house of the United States Congress

The United States House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the United States Congress, the Senate being the upper chamber. Together they compose the legislature of the United States.

Massachusettss 7th congressional district

Massachusetts's 7th congressional district is a congressional district located in eastern Massachusetts, including roughly three-fourths of the city of Boston and a few of its northern and southern suburbs. Massachusetts congressional redistricting after the 2010 census changed the borders of the district starting with the elections of 2012, with most of the old 7th district redistricted to the new 5th district. Most of the old 8th district now comprise the new 7th district. The seat is currently held by Ayanna Pressley.

Ed Markey U.S. Senator from Massachusetts

Edward John Markey is an American politician serving as the junior United States Senator from Massachusetts since 2013. A member of the Democratic Party, he was the U.S. Representative for Massachusetts's 7th congressional district from 1976 to 2013. Between the House and Senate, Markey has served in Congress for more than four decades. He was also a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1973 to 1976.

State Senate

In 1990, during his first stint as State Senator, Barrett wrote an Atlantic Monthly cover story in which he advocated a longer school day and year for American students. [8] A year later, he was named one of nine commissioners on the National Education Commission on Time and Learning, created by the U.S. Congress to examine the issues raised in the Atlantic article. [9]

In 1992 Barrett drafted and saw through to enactment domestic violence legislation for Massachusetts that was precedent-setting in the United States, in that it required judges to consult a comprehensive computerized registry of offenders before they ruled on requests for restraining orders. [10] He was also successful as lead sponsor of major environmental legislation regulating uses of toxic materials in manufacturing within the state. [11]

Private sector

In 1994 Barrett ran unsuccessfully for Governor of Massachusetts. Departing the State Senate the following year, he was named CEO and General Counsel of the Visiting Nurse Associations of New England, a large home health care provider network. Several years later, he embarked on a consulting career focused on the emergence of the Internet and the development of online services involved in health care. [12]

Governor of Massachusetts head of state and of government of the U.S. commonwealth of Massachusetts

The Governor of Massachusetts is the head of the executive branch of the Government of Massachusetts and serves as commander-in-chief of the Commonwealth's military forces. The current governor is Charlie Baker.

Return to Senate

In December 2011, after a 16-year absence from politics, Barrett announced his candidacy for State Senate in the 3rd Middlesex District. [13] [14] In September 2012 he won the Democratic nomination after an intensely contested five-candidate race. [15] He beat the Republican candidate in November and was elected. [16] The 3rd Middlesex District covers nine communities: Bedford, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Concord, Lexington (precincts 3, 8 and 9), Lincoln, Sudbury (precincts 1, 4 and 5), Waltham and Weston.

In January 2013 Barrett was named Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities. [17] In 2015 Barrett was named Chair of the Senate Post-Audit and Oversight Committee, a unique body charged with overseeing implementation of all state programs run by the Governor and his appointees. In 2017 he was appointed Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities & Energy. The committee’s jurisdiction covers everything from cell phones to alternative energy to public utility reform to carbon pricing. [18]

Personal life

Barrett lives in Lexington with his wife. They have twin daughters.

Related Research Articles

Massachusettss 4th congressional district

Massachusetts's 4th congressional district is located mostly in southern Massachusetts. It is represented by Democrat Joseph P. Kennedy III.

Massachusettss 5th congressional district U.S. House of Representatives district in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Massachusetts's 5th congressional district is a congressional district in eastern Massachusetts. The district is represented by Katherine Clark. Massachusetts congressional redistricting after the 2010 census has changed the borders of the district starting with the elections of 2012, with the new 3rd district largely taking the place of the old 5th. The 5th district covers many of the communities represented in the old 7th district. As of 2010, the population of the 5th congressional district was 727,515. On July 15, 2013, Ed Markey resigned from the seat to become the junior Senator from Massachusetts. On December 10, 2013, Democrat Katherine Clark won a special election to fill the seat for the remainder of the 113th Congress. She was sworn into office on December 12, 2013.

Robert A. Havern III, was a Massachusetts politician who served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives and who represented the Fourth Middlesex District in the Massachusetts State Senate from 1991 to 2007.

Bruce Tarr American politician

Bruce E. Tarr is the minority leader of the Massachusetts Senate. He has been a member since 1995, representing the 1st Essex and Middlesex District. He is a member of the United States Republican Party and a former member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. In June 2009 fellow Republican state senator Scott Brown described the 5 member senate caucus as "led" by Senator Tarr.

Joseph James Marzilli, Jr. was a member of the Massachusetts Senate. Marzilli, a Democrat, was elected to the Senate in a special election in December 2007, representing the communities of Arlington, Billerica, Burlington, Lexington and Woburn partway through his ninth term in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, representing Arlington and West Medford. He was the Senate Chair of the Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development. He also served on the Committees on Children and Families, Mental Health and Substance Abuse and Veterans' Affairs. He resigned from the chamber on November 14, 2008 after charges of sexual harassment.

Jamie Eldridge American politician

James B. Eldridge is a Massachusetts State Senator from the Middlesex and Worcester District. Eldridge previously served three terms in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, where he sat on the Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Business, the Joint Committee on Election Laws, and the Joint Committee on Public Service. Eldridge is an Acton native and the son of a public school kindergarten teacher and electrical engineer.

Charles A. Murphy American politician

Charles A. "Charley" Murphy is the former representative of the 21st Middlesex District to the Massachusetts House of Representatives and the Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means.)

Patricia D. Jehlen American politician

Patricia Deats Jehlen is a teacher and current Massachusetts State Senator of the Democratic Party. She represents the Second Middlesex District. That includes the cities of Cambridge, wards 9 to 11, inclusive, Medford and Somerville, and the town of Winchester, precincts 4 to 7, inclusive, in the County of Middlesex. She has served the Massachusetts State Senate since 2005. She also served the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1991-2003.

Carolyn (Coyne) Dykema is the Massachusetts State Representative from the Eighth Middlesex District. For 2012 and subsequent elections, the Eighth Middlesex is made up of Holliston, Hopkinton, Southborough, and precinct 2 of Westborough. Holliston and Hopkinton are in Middlesex County, the district's namesake, while Southborough and Westborough are in Worcester County.

Thomas P. Conroy is a former American state legislator who represented the 13th Middlesex District, which includes Sudbury, Wayland, Marlborough, and Framingham, in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. He served from 2007 to 2015.

Katherine Clark American politician

Katherine Marlea Clark is an American politician who has served as the United States Representative for Massachusetts's 5th congressional district since 2013. The district includes many of the northern and western suburbs of Boston, such as Medford, Framingham, Woburn and Clark's hometown of Melrose. She is a member of the Democratic Party. She was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 2008 to 2011, and a member of the Massachusetts Senate from 2011 to 2013.

Michael O. Moore American politician

Michael O. Moore is an American politician from Millbury, Massachusetts who serves as the Massachusetts State Senator for the Second Worcester District. The District comprises the Senator's hometown of Millbury, as well as seven other communities including parts of the City of Worcester. He is member of the Democratic Party who has served in the Massachusetts Legislature since 2009.

John D. Keenan is a former Massachusetts State Representative for the 7th Essex district, which consists of his hometown of Salem. He is a Democrat who served from 2005 to 2014. Prior to serving in the Massachusetts legislature, he was assistant district attorney of Essex County and city solicitor of Salem. He now serves as the president of Salem State University.

Charles Edward Shannon Jr. was a Massachusetts state senator. He represented the Second Middlesex district from 1991 until his death in 2005, first as a Republican and later as a Democrat. A resident of Winchester, Massachusetts, Shannon served as a Lexington policeman and a Winchester town official prior to serving in the state legislature.

Will Brownsberger Politician; Massachusetts State Senator

William N. Brownsberger is an American state legislator and President Pro Tempore of the Massachusetts Senate representing the Second Suffolk and Middlesex District which includes his hometown of Belmont, as well as Watertown, and parts of Allston, Brighton, Fenway-Kenmore, and Back Bay which are neighborhoods of Boston. From 2007 to 2012 he was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. He was a candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 2013 special election to succeed Ed Markey in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Thomas Golden Jr. Massachusetts politician

Thomas A. Golden Jr. is an American politician who represents the 16th Middlesex District in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. He is currently the Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy.

Nick Collins (politician) American politician

Nick Collins is an American state legislator serving in the Massachusetts Senate. He is a Boston resident and a member of the Democratic Party. . Elected into the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 2010, he sat four terms in the House representing the 4th Suffolk District. He was the Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies; and served on the Joint Committee on Housing, the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy and the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs.

Cindy F. Friedman is an American politician currently serving as a State Senator representing the 4th Middlesex District in the Massachusetts Senate. Friedman's district comprises Arlington, Billerica, Burlington, Lexington, and Woburn. She has been serving since 2017. Prior to becoming a state Senator, Friedman worked as a public school teacher, an senior manager in the high-tech industry and later served for nearly a decade as chief of staff to the late state Senator, Kenneth (Ken) J. Donnelly. During her first term, Friedman served as the Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery. For the 191st General Court, Friedman serves as the Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing and is Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.


  1. Public Officers of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 1977.
  2. Public Officers of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 1986.
  3. Public Officers of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 1987.
  4. Public Officers of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 1987.
  5. http://www.barrettforstatesenate.org/about-mike
  6. Public Officers of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 1987.
  7. http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=501530
  8. "The Case for More School Days". The Atlantic Monthly.
  9. http://www2.ed.gov/pubs/PrisonersOfTime/Members.html
  10. http://www.barrettforstatesenate.org/mikes-record
  11. http://lexington.patch.com/articles/letter-barret-would-be-environmental-champion
  12. http://www.barrettforstatesenate.org/about-mike/
  13. "Lexington Resident Mike Barrett Announces Run for State Senate". The Lexington Minuteman.
  14. "Mike Barrett to challenge Susan Fargo for state Senate seat". The Boston Globe.
  15. "Barrett bests Kearns Goodwin in state Senate primary". The Boston Globe.
  16. "Barrett looks forward to 'hard work' as 3rd Middlesex senator". The Lexington Minuteman.
  17. http://malegislature.gov/People/Profile/MJB0
  18. Gentile, Al. "Senator Mike Barrett appointed to Committee of Telecom, Utilities, Energy". Lexington Minuteman. Retrieved 2017-04-21.