Rosenberg’s fiance says he may run for Senate

This is awkward. Byron Hefner says he is “strongly considering” running for a seat in the Massachusetts Senate, which is led by his fiance, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg.

The 28-year-old Hefner shared his plans with Politico’s Lauren Dezenski on Monday, prompting a Boston Globe story on how a Hefner candidacy could create political problems for the 66-year-old Rosenberg.

Senate presidents typically stay out of Democratic primary fights, but it would be difficult for Rosenberg to avoid being drawn into the race. Hefner has little political experience and is known in political circles largely because he is Rosenberg’s partner. Indeed, Politico’s story on Hefner’s announcement that he is considering a run for the seat being vacated by Anthony Petruccelli featured a picture of Rosenberg, not Hefner.

Hefner and Rosenberg have been together seven years, but Hefner at times has been something of a political headache for the Senate president. Late last year, just before the Senate was scheduled to elect its president, the Globe reported that Hefner had mocked outgoing Senate President Therese Murray on social media and boasted about his influence on Senate committee assignments, leadership positions, and staffing.

Rosenberg reportedly admonished Hefner and told his colleagues that he had “enforced a firewall” between his legislative duties and his private life. A Hefner candidacy could punch a hole in that firewall.

Hefner told Dezenski he had discussed his potential candidacy with Rosenberg and has been considering a run for the last five years. The Globe even reported that Hefner, bizarrely, had told Amherst activists that he was considering a run against Rosenberg.

Hefner has held several internships at the State House, including one in Rosenberg’s office during the summer of 2008. Rosenberg said he and Hefner began socializing after the internship was over and began living together in 2009. Following his internships at the State House, Hefner landed a post at Regan Communications, a public relations firm, but then relinquished that job at the end of last year, blaming the Globe’s coverage of him.

Hefner said he will make his decision on whether to run for the Senate by January 7. Rosenberg had no comment. It seems safe to assume the topic will come up when the Globe’s Joshua Miller sits down to talk with the Senate president tonight as part of his “Political Happy Hour” interview series.




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