Karyn Polito is the Lieutenant Governor-elect of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Karyn began her public service in local government, serving as a member of the Shrewsbury Board of Selectmen. She then expanded her work to the state level, serving as a member of the State Lottery Commission. Then, in 2001, Karyn ran for State Representative and won, proudly representing the residents of the 11th Worcester District (Shrewsbury and Westborough) for five terms. In 2014, she was elected the seventy-second Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
In her time on Beacon Hill, Karyn was a leading advocate for the passage of “Jessica’s Law,” a bill which would establish tough mandatory minimum sentences for child sex offenders. Her advocacy paid off in 2008, when she worked with her Democratic colleagues to pass tougher sentencing legislation and require District Attorneys to file more comprehensive reports about child sex offenses in Massachusetts.
Karyn understands the strain on local budgets, and worked relentlessly to secure increases in local aid, Chapter 70 school aid, Special Education aid, and Special Education transportation aid, as well as for local grant funding. Throughout her term in office, Karyn advocated for a safer Commonwealth by filing legislation in a number of key areas: cracking down on drunk drivers, requiring defibrillators in public schools, and strengthening the experience requirements for young drivers. She has also worked hard to promote jobs and economic development, especially encouraging young people to explore careers in science and technology. She served on the Robert H. Goddard Council on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education, and she hosted an annual Women in Science conference in Worcester. She is a board member of the Worcester Area Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the Corridor Nine Area Chamber of Commerce.
Karyn also believes strongly in giving back to the community. Her first major legislative initiative in 2003 was to file legislation allowing for the issuance of special license plates with the Red Sox and Jimmy Fund insignias. Since that bill was passed, the Red Sox special-issued license plates have raised more than $7,000,000 to date for the Jimmy Fund of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Red Sox Foundation.
Karyn Polito is a lifelong resident of Shrewsbury, where she owns and operates a commercial real estate development firm and lives with her husband and two young children.