Colonel William A. Phillips

Harriette L. Chandler (born December 20, 1937 in Baltimore, Maryland[2]) is an American politician who was the 94th President of the Massachusetts Senate and 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.[3] 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.[4]

The Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus endorsed her as an incumbent candidate in the 2020 Massachusetts general election.[5]

Leadership positions and committee assignments

Chandler was the 94th President of the Massachusetts Senate. Prior to this she was the Senate Majority Leader. She was also the Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Redistricting and Co-Chair of the Special Senate Committee on Citizen Engagement. She was recently Vice-Chair of the Special Senate Committee on Housing and member of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Senate Committee on Rules, and Joint Committee on Housing. She previously served as Senate Assistant Majority Leader [4] and the Vice-Chair of the Senate Steering and Policy Committee.[6][7] She was the second woman in Massachusetts history to serve as Assistant Majority Leader and is also the second woman in Massachusetts history to serve as Majority Leader. Chandler also 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.[4]

Caucuses and organizations

Chandler serves as the Co-Chair of the Prevention for Health Caucus and the Legislature's Oral Health Caucus. She formerly served as Co-Chair of the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) Legislative Caucus, Co-Chair of the Central Massachusetts Caucus, Co-Chair of the Brain Injury Commission, and Co-Chair of the Caucus of Women Legislators. She is actively involved outside of the State House, having served as Co-Chair of the Reforming States Group Steering Committee, which represents members of the legislative and executive branches of state governments focusing on health care reform. She is also the Vice President of the 2015-2016 Executive Board of the Women's Legislative Network of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), a State Director of Women in Government, and corporator of the YWCA, Worcester Art Museum,[2] and Greater Worcester Foundation. She is a member of Worcester Women's History Project,[8] United Way of Central Massachusetts, Worcester Democratic City Committee, and the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee.


In November 2010, Chandler filed a defamation lawsuit against , 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.[9] The lawsuit, and counterclaims from Higgins, were dropped in June 2011 after Higgins admitted his allegations were not true.[10]

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.[8]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b 2007–2008 Public Officers of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
  3. ^ "Massachusetts Senatorial Districts". Elections Division. Elections Division: Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
  4. ^ a b c "Senator Harriette L. Chandler". Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  5. ^ "Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus Political Action Committee Endorsed Candidates",, retrieved August 5, 2020
  6. ^ "Senate Committee on Steering and Policy". Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Massachusetts State Senate. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
  7. ^ "Leadership Team Named for Mass. Senate". Worcester Telegram & Gazette. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
  8. ^ a b "Harriette L. Chandler". WWOHP. Worcester Women's Oral History Project. 21 October 2010. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
  9. ^ Eileen Kennedy (4 November 2010). "1st Worcdester District State Sen. Harriette Chandler sues opponent for defamation". The Times & Courier. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  10. ^ "Chandler v. Higgins lawsuits dropped after former State Senate opponent admits regret". The Daily Holden. 21 June 2011. Retrieved 6 November 2011.

External links