RMC Remembers Former MA Gov. Paul Cellucci, Champion & Friend

Today the nation remembers former Massachusetts’ Governor Paul Cellucci, a devoted Republican leader of the caliber found few and far between in our current political climate. Cellucci passed away on Saturday, June 8th from complications of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. He was 65.

Paul Cellucci was a principled public servant, serving the state of Massachusetts as an elected official for over three decades. Massachusetts’ voters recognized him for his strong values and in all his years running as a Republican in a blue state, he never once lost an election. Formerly both a state Representative and state Senator, Cellucci was first elected to lieutenant governor in 1990 and was elevated to acting governor in 1997 when then-Governor Bill Weld left the position to pursue an ambassadorship. The following year Cellucci was elected as governor in his own right, both beloved and respected for his commitment to bringing people together.

A mainstream Republican, Paul always stood by his beliefs, never backing down from the chance to do what was right.  His dedication to the Republican Party stemmed from his strong belief in individual freedom and promoting solutions based policies.  As Governor he advanced hard-fought reforms in transportation, education and gun control, all while remaining loyal to his fiscally conservative ideals. In 2001 he earned the distinction of having the best record of reducing taxes and restraining spending growth out of all 50 governors. 

Cellucci was also a staunch supporter of equal rights and valued diversity in the political arena.  His choice of Jane Swift for lieutenant governor in 1990 led to her becoming the first woman to serve as Governor of Massachusetts.  He also had the honor of selecting Margaret H. Marshall as the first female Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.  This ground breaking appointment marked the first time a woman headed a branch of government in the history of the state. 

In 2001, Paul Cellucci resigned his position as governor to become the U.S. Ambassador to Canada from 2001 until 2005. He later published a memoir of his time as an ambassador titled, Unquiet Diplomacy.

RMC is truly saddened by the loss of a great leader, and a greater man. To close in the words of former Gov. Weld,  “anyone who knew him in any other arena would have found the same man: a person of rock-hard integrity, keen intelligence, considerable humor, abundant compassion, and deep devotion to family and country. We are all immensely impoverished by his loss.”

To read more kind tributes in memory of this dedicated public servant, go here and here.

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