By Andy Metzger
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
STATE HOUSE -- A successful businessman whose grandparents met in the servants' quarters of a Brookline home, Republican Michael Heffernan said he has the dollar-sense to serve as state treasurer.
"The treasurer's office is too important to be considered on-the-job training for aspiring Democrats," Heffernan told Republicans gathered in Boston for the state convention Saturday.
Sen. Barry Finegold, an Andover Democrat, Rep. Tom Conroy, a Wayland Democrat, and Democrat Deb. Goldberg, whose family started the Stop & Shop supermarket chain, are all running for the seat, as Treasurer Steven Grossman makes his bid for the governorship.
Former state representative and Boston mayoral candidate Charlotte Golar Richie is reportedly considering a run, too. Anyone who missed a Feb. 3 Democratic Party filing deadline who wants to run for statewide office would need to collect the signatures of 500 delegates by April 29, according to Democratic Party Executive Director Matt Fenlon.
Heffernan received the nomination without a challenge at the convention. After his speech, Heffernan greeted a reporter on the convention floor and then declined to speak on the record. His spokesman said the campaign would schedule another time for him to speak.
A Wellesley businessman, Heffernan thanked the delegates for trekking out to Boston University's Agganis Arena and cracked on Attorney General Martha Coakley, who is also seeking the governorship.
"Unlike Martha Coakley, you know what it's like to be outside in the cold and shaking hands," Heffernan said. In his speech, Heffernan spoke about how his father's parents met at a "big beautiful home on Bishop Hill in Brookline, but they weren't in the ballroom; they were in the servants quarters."
Heffernan supports a larger transfer of state money to local governments and schools, and believes state taxes are too high.
"Massachusetts needs a change in leadership. Our unemployment rate is too high. Our taxes are too high, and it is just too expensive to do business here," said Heffernan, who co-founded tech company Mobiquity and spent nearly 20 years in Citigroup's Market's and Banking Division, according to a press release.
Reductions in local aid put more burden on property taxes, said Heffernan, who said the state's pension fund should be given more financial stability.
"Our pension system is underfunded by $28 billion. The Legislature has been kicking an increasingly expensive can down the road," said Heffernan. He also said, "Let's continue to identify new avenues to invest in our schools and teachers."
A native of Southborough, Heffernan sits on several boards, including the Wellesley Historical Society.
"This is going to be a tough but very winnable campaign for all of us gathered here today," Heffernan told the assembled Republicans.