Henriquez stuck in jail as deadline comes

Colleague says bid for old seat now unlikely

Former state rep Carlos Henriquez, who was expelled from the House in February after an assault and battery conviction, will not be out of jail in time to gather and file the voter signatures necessary to get on the ballot and make a run for his old Dorchester seat, a close friend said Monday.

Rep. Russell Holmes of Boston said parole delays, caused in part by a state official being away on vacation last week, will result in Henriquez being released on Wednesday, too late to meet the Tuesday deadline for submitting signatures.

Holmes, who was relying on information conveyed by Henriquez’s family, said he wondered about the timing of the ex-rep’s release. “I can understand why conspiracy theorists would have a lot to theorize,” he said.

A run by Henriquez for his old seat could have created an awkward situation for the House, which voted to oust him in February largely because he had been convicted and sentenced to jail for assault and battery against his girlfriend. If Henriquez had succeeded in reclaiming his old seat this fall, the House would have been confronted with the same situation again, although this time Henriquez wouldn’t have been fighting expulsion from a jail cell.

Holmes has been saying he expected Henriquez to win parole in mid-April, enough time to get his affairs in order and gather the necessary signatures to get on the ballot. Instead, the Parole Board voted on April 11 to release Henriquez on or after Friday, just four days before the signature deadline.

Holmes said he thought Henriquez may have had enough time to get on the ballot even if he had been released on Friday, but the delay until this week made that impossible. Holmes had predicted Henriquez would win his old seat back if he made it on to the ballot.

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Bruce Mohl

Editor, CommonWealth

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

The only option left for Henriquez to reclaim his old seat would be to mount a sticker campaign, but Holmes said the odds of him doing that are slim. “I doubt it,” he said when asked whether he thought Henriquez would consider a sticker run.

A special election is being held on Tuesday to fill Henriquez’s old seat until this fall’s election. The winner is expected to be Evandro Carvalho, who won the Democratic primary race.