Harriette L. Chandler

Harriette L. Chandler
Member of the Massachusetts Senate from the First Worcester District
Assumed office
Preceded by Robert A. Bernstein
Member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from the 13th Worcester District
In office
Preceded by Kevin O'Sullivan
Succeeded by Robert Spellane
Personal details
Born (1937-12-20) December 20, 1937
Baltimore, Maryland
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Burton Chandler
Residence Worcester, Massachusetts
Alma mater Wellesley College
Clark University
Simmons College
Occupation Management Consultant

Harriette L. Chandler (born December 20, 1937 in Baltimore, Maryland[1]) is the Massachusetts State Senator for the 1st Worcester district, which includes parts of the city of Worcester, where she resides, and the towns of Boylston, Holden, Princeton, and West Boylston, and parts of Clinton and Northborough.[2] She is a Democrat who has served since January 2001. From 1995 to 2001 she was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Prior to serving in the Massachusetts legislature, she was a member of the Worcester school committee from 1991 to 1994. She is the first woman from Worcester ever to be elected to the Massachusetts Senate.[3]

Leadership positions and committee assignments

Chandler is the current Senate Majority Leader and Vice-Chair of the Special Senate Committee on Housing. She is also a member of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Senate Committee on Rules, and Joint Committee on Housing. She previously served as Senate Assistant Majority Leader [3] and the Vice-Chair of the Senate Steering and Policy Committee.[4][5] She was the second woman to serve as the Senate Assistant Majority Leader in Massachusetts history after former Senator Joan Menard. Chandler also previously served as the Senate Majority Whip, Assistant Majority Whip, Vice-Chair of the Joint Committee on Public Health, Assistant Vice-Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, Vice-Chair of the Joint Committee on Federal Stimulus Oversight, and the Vice-Chair of the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs.

During her last two terms in the House, she was the Chair of the Joint Committee on Health Care.[3]

Caucuses and organizations

Chandler serves as the Co-Chair of the Prevention for Health Caucus, Co-Chair of the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) Legislative Caucus, Co-Chair of the Central Massachusetts Caucus, Co-Chair of the Oral Health Caucus, and formerly served as the Co-Chair of the Brain Injury Commission and Co-Chair of the Caucus of Women Legislators. She also sits on several caucuses and boards, including the Legislature’s Tobacco Control Caucus,[3] Mayor's Advisory Committee on At-Risk Youth,[3] Worcester Women’s History Project,[6] Worcester Art Museum,[1] United Way of Central Massachusetts,[1] Worcester Economic Development Council, Worcester Democratic City Committee and the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee.


In November 2010, Chandler filed a defamation lawsuit against William J. Higgins Sr., her opponent in the November 2010 election. She claimed Higgins knowingly made false statements about her during the campaign that went well beyond reasonable political campaign statements.[7] The lawsuit, and a lawsuit in response from Higgins, were dropped in June 2011 after Higgins admitted his allegations were not true. [8]

Personal life

Senator Chandler earned degrees from Wellesley College (B.A.), Simmons College (M.B.A.), and Clark University (Ph.D.). She is married to Worcester attorney Burton Chandler and has three adult children and four grandchildren.[6]


  1. 1 2 3 2007–2008 Public Officers of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
  2. "Massachusetts Senatorial Districts". Elections Division. Elections Division: Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 http://www.malegislature.gov/people/profile/hlc0
  4. "Senate Committee on Steering and Policy:". Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Massachusetts State Senate. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
  5. "Leadership Team Named for Mass. Senate:". Worcester Telegram & Gazette. telegram.com. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
  6. 1 2 "Harriette L. Chandler". WWOHP. Worcester Women's Oral History Project. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
  7. Eileen Kennedy (4 November 2010). "1st Worcdester District State Sen. Harriette Chandler sues opponent for defamation". The Times & Courier. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  8. "Chandler v. Higgins lawsuits dropped after former State Senate opponent admits regret". The Daily Holden. 21 June 2011. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
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