Senator Anne Gobi to become Director of Rural Affairs

Nick DeGray and Ellen Fleming

1 week ago

WARE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Healey-Driscoll Administration announced Monday the new Director of Rural Affairs, Senator Anne Gobi.

The new role was created in March to help rural communities, like most of western Massachusetts, be better represented in state government. Senator Gobi currently represents mostly rural towns in Worcester County as well as Ware in Hampshire County. In her new role, Gobi will advocate for the smaller towns to help incorporate them into the economic development plan.

Among her responsibilities, she will be tasked with looking at state grant opportunities to make sure that “barriers for rural and small towns are mitigated.” Gobi will also coordinate with members of the administration to make sure that they are aware of the needs of rural districts.

“We are building an economy that benefits all communities, businesses, and people in Massachusetts, particular those that are too often overlooked and underrepresented like rural and small towns,” said Governor Maura Healey. “Senator Gobi’s fierce advocacy of rural equity, agricultural and small businesses, and conservation initiatives makes her the ideal candidate to help our rural towns across the state succeed.”

“Senator Gobi brings to this new role deep knowledge of the challenges that rural and small-town economies face and decades of experience serving the people of our state,” said Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll. “We are excited to welcome her to our administration and look forward to working with her to better reach rural communities and help them grow.”

Senator Jo Comerford described Senator Gobi as a teacher and a friend, “The list of rural needs is really endless, and someone like Senator Gobi, who has beautifully worked in a rural community setting for so long and has rural in her blood, will be, you know, a really unparalleled champion.”

Gobi will begin her new role on June 5. “I am thrilled to take on this important role and grateful to the Healey-Driscoll Administration for elevating our rural communities,” said Senator Gobi. “While I will miss the Legislature, I look forward to continuing to work for the needs of small towns throughout the Commonwealth as their advocate in state government.” 

Gobi was first elected to the House in 2001 and became state Senator in 2014. She currently is the chair of the Agriculture Committee and also co-chairs the rural caucus.

With Gobi moving to the new position, her seat in the State Senate will require a special election to find a new representative.

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