Nika Elugardo on Her Victory, Legislative Goals and Who Told Her She Won

Even though media had already declared Nika Elugardo the winner of the 15th Suffolk District state representative race, she wasn't ready to declare victory. The holdup was a pesky broken ballot box in one precinct and Elugardo needed to know the final vote tally across the district. But it wasn't until she got a phone call from a certain politician congratulating her on being victorious that let her know she won. Within a short time the ballot box was fixed and Elugardo took home 52 percent of the vote to incumbent Jeffrey Sánchez's 47 percent, making her victory one of the biggest upsets in recent Massachusetts election history! And that phone call? It was a voicemail message from Massachusetts Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, said Elugardo to Jamaica Plain News.

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Sánchez, Catching Heat, ‘Disappointed’ Immigration Protections Not in State Budget

During his first budget go-around as chair of the powerful Massachusetts House Committee on Ways and Means, state Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez (D-15th Suffolk) is taking heat in some corners due to immigration provisions being stripped from the state budget during House-Senate negotiations. In response, Sánchez says he strongly supports immigrant communities and is unhappy that the budget rider, which among other things would have prohibited police from asking people their immigration status unless required by federal or state law, ultimately did not appear in the approved state budget. "As a leader on this type of work and sponsor of this legislation, I am disappointed but not defeated. I identify with these immigrant communities on a personal level: They are my friends, family, and neighbors," Sánchez told Jamaica Plain News. "Hearing the appalling stories from the border reminds me of what I saw working on the Mexico/California border in the 1980s, and I want to do everything I can to help.

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