Quincy Rep. Ron Mariano and Ashland Sen. Karen Spilka were both reelected Wednesday to full two-year terms to lead the House and Senate into a new session with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to dictate much of the agenda on Beacon Hill.
Mariano, who first ascended to the top House role just one week ago, easily secured a full term as speaker on Wednesday with almost no dissent from the Democratic ranks. He earned 127 of the 157 votes cast for speaker during the first formal session of the 2021-2022 lawmaking session.
All 30 Republican lawmakers backed Minority Leader Brad Jones, while Independent Rep. Susannah Whipps supported Mariano. Just two Democrats, second-term Rep. Tami Gouveia of Acton and first-term Rep. Erika Uyterhoeven of Somerville, voted present rather than supporting Mariano.
Spilka was elected to her second full term atop the body on a party line 37-3 vote, with the chamber's three Republicans backing Minority Leader Bruce Tarr. Sens. Joan Lovely of Salem and Joseph Boncore nominated Spilka.
Lovely described Spilka as "a consistent, steady, strong, compassionate leader through all that has come our way," and Boncore said she has "shepherded long-stalled progressive policies into law."