Reinstein Resigns Seat Abruptly, Many Local Pols Weighing Options

State Rep. Kathi-Anne Reinstein officially resigned from her state representative seat on Thursday morning – a somewhat surprising turn of events that has her taking a job with Jamaica Plain’s Boston Beer Company, brewers of the Sam Adams beers.

She will resign the seat as of Jan. 17, and will assume the position of government affairs manager for Boston Beer Co.

“This is an incredible opportunity for my family and me, but a very difficult decision to make,” wrote Reinstein in a letter sent out Thursday morning. “I want to thank all of you for your support and especially for your friendship…In my 15 years of public service, and in my lifetime of being a proud Revere resident, I have seen so much good in people, so much kindness in people – the passion of their beliefs, their pride in their neighborhoods and their dedication to the community as a whole. Thank you for putting your trust in me to be your voice on Beacon Hill. It has been an awesome responsibility and I’ve worked to the best of my ability to be a strong voice for all of us.

I began this journey one week after my Father lost his battle with cancer in 1998. Bill Reinstein is what every public servant should be:  Passionate, Proud, Considerate, Kind, Funny and Genuine. I, and many others, learned from the best. Had it not been for the love of so many incredible people and the support of the communities that entrusted me to represent them, I would never have been able to get through this emotional beginning.

“I was raised in a household that taught us that public service and pride in our community should be held in the highest regard,” she continued in the letter. “Although I am leaving the Legislature, I will remain active in our communities and continue working with the many incredible organizations I’ve had the privilege to partner with over the years.”

Said House Speaker Bob DeLeo – one of Reinstein’s closest allies in the House, “Having served with her father in a city whose representation we share, I had the unique opportunity to see Kathi-Anne Reinstein grow from a young high school student and mature into an outstanding legislator. Since her election to the House of Representatives more than 15 years ago, she has become a passionate advocate for both her district and the issues she supports. In addition, she is not only a trusted member of my leadership team, whose insight I value, but a close friend. I will miss her greatly. I wish her all the best in her new role with the Boston Beer Company.”

In the letter, Reinstein said she would continue to hold the Reinstein Senior Prom – a staple of her father’s legacy that she has continued to host for the elderly every year. That event will happen on May 15 from 6-9 p.m. at the Beachmont VFW.

A tremendous supporter of expanded gaming over the years, she also gave a plug for the second casino referendum vote coming up on Feb. 25.

“I will be unable to actively participate in the election on Tuesday, Feb. 25, but I hope the residents of Revere will join me in voting ‘Yes’ for Mohegan Sun and Suffolk Downs to site a casino in the City of Revere,” she wrote. “As we have seen by the recent Host Community Agreement, this development will bring much needed jobs, revenue and improvements to the City of Revere and its surrounding communities.”

The news of Reinstein’s departure didn’t completely shock anyone, but the timing of the matter definitely turned the City’s political landscape on its ears. Most were “blindsided” by the news, but several said they were interested in the seat and were going to take a serious look at running.

First and foremost was Reinstein’s Chief of Staff, Roselee Vincent, who said on Friday she is “seriously, seriously considering a run for the seat.”

Vincent is a life-long resident of the City and lives in Ward 6. For the last 25 years, she has worked at the State House for either Reinstein or her father.

Ward 4 City Councillor Stephen Reardon said he had an interest in the seat – and conveyed that interest with probably the best quote of the year.

“I’ll certainly be considering it over the course of the weekend and I’ll be talking with supporters and family about it,” he said on Friday. “We’ll take a shot and see if the ball lands on the green. If it’s close to the cup, then I just might take out my putter and give it a shot.”

Councillor Brian Arrigo said it’s an opportunity he has to consider, being that open seats like that don’t come up often.

“I’m taking a pretty good look at it,” he said. “I’m definitely interesting and realize it’s an opportunity that doesn’t come around often. It’s something I at least have to take a look at and see if the timing is right.”

Councillor Bob Haas said it was too early to say, and he’d have to digest the entire situation before committing either way.

Nearly everyone was waiting to see what Councillor Jessica Giannino would do, as she topped the ticket last November in the at-large race and is perceived to have a lot of momentum as a rising star in local politics. However, this would only be her second term in elected office, so some have postulated it could be too soon for her – not to mention the fact that Vincent is her close relative.

A request for comment from Giannino wasn’t immediately returned.

One person already saying no to the offer is Councillor Tony Zambuto.

“You can mark me down as someone who isn’t interested,” he said. “I’m flattered to be considered, but not interested.”

A candidate out of left field could be former Mayor Tom Ambrosino – who now works as the executive director of the Supreme Judicial Court. However, running for the seat would likely be seen as a step backward for him from his current position – unless, of course, he really wants to get his foot back in the political arena. He has said in the past that he has a commitment to his job at the SJC that he doesn’t want to break.

He was not immediately available for comment as well.

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