(Editor's Note: the following information was provided
by Barbara L’Italien for Congress.)
ANDOVER, MA — State Senator Barbara L’Italien is announcing two top hires in her race for Congress. Campaign Manager Dan Hoffer, who left his position as political director for SEIU Local 888, and Field Director Joe Thibodeau, who left the State House office of Senator L’Italien to begin this role. Hoffer and Thibodeau start today and they join Finance Assistant Melissa Rynning and Deputy Finance Director Annette Grams.
Hoffer’s background is in activism and organizing. He has worked with dozens of campaigns at every level including Raise Up Massachusetts, Deval Patrick’s 2006 gubernatorial win, and as political director at MassEquality. Most recently he finished a six-year stint as SEIU Local 888's political director, where he worked on progressive and workers’ rights issues. Hoffer cited L’Italien’s leadership for public and special education, and working families as motivation to join her campaign.
“Leaving SEIU is bittersweet and I don’t do it lightly, but I felt I couldn’t stay out of such an important race. Barbara is the best candidate for working families and the only one with a history of action standing up for public education,” said Campaign Manager Dan Hoffer. “I’m particularly excited to join her team because of her work as a special education champion. I was a student with learning disabilities, and special education changed and saved my life. With Trump and Betsy DeVos moving to privatize education nationwide, we need Barbara on the front lines protecting and improving education, so all kids can have an experience like mine.”
Thibodeau is chair of the Andover Democratic Town Committee and was born and raised in Andover. He has developed a wealth of knowledge of the Congressional District through his work as field director electing L’Italien to her Senate seat in 2014, and then as her district director in the legislature from 2015-2018.
“Working with Barbara for these past three and a half years, I’ve seen her commitment to cities and towns and her constituents up close. She has invested in countless young people like me and helped us grow and give back to the community” said Field Director Joe Thibodeau. “I’m proud to work for her, and excited to join her in this new journey. The Merrimack Valley is my home, and while I will miss serving this area at the State House, I’m firmly committed to helping elect the woman I know will best represent this district in Congress.”
“I started as an intern in Barbara’s Senate office in 2015 and I’m proud to be working on her campaign for Congress” said Call Time Manager Melissa Rynning. “I’m proud to have joined her team and to help elect such a dedicated, passionate, and tireless advocate like Barbara to Congress.”
Annette Grams, of Andover, began working with L'Italien in her early days as a state representative representing communities including Andover, Haverhill, and Methuen. She has helmed L’Italien’s finance team for L’Italien’s entire tenure as a senator.
“I’m thrilled to have Dan and Joe join Melissa and Annette on my campaign staff. I’ll be a fighter for the people of this district in Congress and my team brings incredible union organizing experience, local experience and the savvy we need to win,” said L’Italien. “Dan and I have worked together for many years, and I’m proud that such a passionate progressive activist with a strong statewide organizing background is coming on board. I’m also delighted that Joe has decided to join me in this race. He’s devoted to the people of this region, to public service, and he’s an incredibly talented organizer.”