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Boston State Sen. Dorcena Forry Steps Down From Post

Linda Dorcena Forry speaks on the State House steps on June 30, 2015. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)MoreCloseclosemore
Linda Dorcena Forry speaks on the State House steps on June 30, 2015. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

State Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry, a Haitian-American and the first woman of color to represent a district that includes South Boston, Mattapan and Dorchester, will resign from the Senate on Friday to take a position with Suffolk Construction — just weeks after emerging as a possible contender for the Senate presidency.

Forry, 44, served in the House for eight years prior to entering the Senate in 2013 after a closely contested race with Rep. Nick Collins of South Boston. She quickly rose to become assistant majority whip, and has been an outspoken voice for the Haitian community and all communities of color in the Senate.

"The foundation of my public service career has revolved around creating opportunity and access and giving a voice to those who have none and this work will continue for the rest of my life," the Democrat said in a statement.

Forry will join Suffolk Construction -- one of the major developers in the city of Boston, led by powerbroker John Fish -- as vice president of Northeast region, diversity, inclusion and community relations.

Her resignation will become effective Friday evening. Her departure means there will be no remaining black state senators.

Describing her four children and husband, her parents and her 103-year-old grandmother, Forry said, "They have all sacrificed so much to make me who I am; it is now my turn to truly put them first."

In a statement, Harriette Chandler, the acting state Senate president, called Forry "a pioneer in Boston and Massachusetts public service and politics. Her departure leaves an immense gap in our building."

House Speaker Robert DeLeo, in his own statement, said Forry is "a thoughtful, savvy and passionate public servant who brings compassion and great intellect to her job as a Senator."

Collins, according to someone close to the lawmaker, is very interested in running for the Senate seat, and Rep. Russell Holmes of Mattapan said he will take the next few weeks to decide whether he will run for the Senate seat.

With additional reporting by the WBUR Newsroom

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