Lipof kickoff: State rep. candidate highlights experience, consensus building [videos]

City Councilor Rick Lipof kicked off his campaign for the 12th Middlesex House state representative seat on Thursday evening with a crowd of supporters at fellow City Councilor Vicki Danberg’s house in Newton Centre.

“To all of you wonderful people here today, I humbly pledge that I will be a state representative for everyone in this district, and I will always have my door open and will work to deliver the best results for the residents of Newton and Brookline,” Lipof said to the room. “Through coalition building and working with legislative leadership, I will ensure that my voice will be heard so our priorities are respected.”

Longtime State Rep. Ruth Balser is not seeking another term, Lipof is running in the Democratic primary for the seat against fellow City Councilor Bill Humphrey and former City Councilor Greg Schwartz.

On Thursday, speakers described Lipof as knowledgeable and able to bring different perspectives together to get things done.

“Rick has always been a voice of reason, a strong voice of reason,” Danberg said. “He understands the importance of important things, what’s important and what needs to have energy and time put into it.”

Rick Lipof and fellow City Councilor Andrea Kelley watch speakers at Lipof’s state representative campaign kick-off on Thursday, April 25. Photo by Bryan McGonigle

Multiple speakers noted Lipof’s tenure as chair of the City Council’s Land Use Committee—in which he helped bring developers and residents into some form of compromise on large projects—as an example of his ability to build consensus.

“I think Land Use is probably the hardest committee to chair, really difficult issues to wrangle with, really difficult public hearings,” City Councilor Andrea Kelley said in her speech endorsing Lipof.

“Andrea is now the chair,” Lipof teasingly interrupted.

“And now I’m the chair!” Kelley laughed. “It’s really hard, but I’ve learned a lot from Rick. And a lot of it I will bring forward, and I’m really grateful to him.”

Lipof’s wife, Jan, spoke to the candidate’s dedication to his community, “sense of compassion, respect and decency.”

“I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Rick for over 35 years,” Jan Lipof said. “I’ve seen firsthand how dedicated he is in all that he does in life. I see how his community means to him and how passionate he is in his desire to make a difference in our district and our state.”

Jan Lipof hugs her husband, Rick Lipof, at his campaign kick-off for state representative on Thursday, April 25. Photo by Bryan McGonigle

Lipof was raised in Newton, one of five children of Newton Alderman Michael Lipof and Rabbi Emily Lipof (who was the first woman to be ordained in a major Jewish congregation). He graduated from Newton South High School in 1983 and earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Lipof has been a member of the City Council since 1996, when that legislative body was still the Board of Aldermen, and he served as its vice president for four years.

The Democratic primary is set for Sept. 3.

Rick Lipof’s mother, Emily Lipof, receives a round of applause at his campaign kick-off for state representative on Thursday, April 25. Photo by Bryan McGonigle