STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
TWO LONGTIME MEMBERS of the House, both with a prickly history with Speaker Robert DeLeo, opted out of voting for DeLeo’s reelection to the post, even asking that their names not be mentioned during the roll call vote.
While present for parts of the ceremony, including the swearing-in, Reps. Angelo Scaccia of Readville and John Rogers of Norwood did not participate in the vote for House Speaker, in which Robert DeLeo was elected to a fifth term.
In addition to Scaccia and Rogers declining to vote, three other state reps missed the swearing-in ceremony. Reps. Denise Provost of Somerville and Paul Heroux of Attleboro were traveling and will be sworn in on Jan. 18, House Clerk Steven James told the News Service. Rep. Denise Garlick of Needham missed the swearing-in ceremony because she contracted pneumonia, an aide said.
Scaccia, the dean of the House, and Rogers, DeLeo’s rival for the speakership in 2008, both submitted letters to the clerk Wednesday, which read: “Please accept this writing as my notice of my intended absence during the period of day today in which the election of the speaker will occur. Accordingly, pursuant to the principles of House Rule 48, I respectfully request that you do not call my name in the Roll Call for said election.”
DeLeo won the support of all 120 Democrats who took part in the vote, while the 35 Republicans voted for Minority Leader Brad Jones.
Neither lawmaker responded immediately to messages seeking comment Wednesday afternoon.
Before former Speaker Sal DiMasi stepped down from the post in January 2009, Rogers, then the House majority leader, and DeLeo, who was chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, battled for the position.
Rogers ultimately conceded his bid for the speakership, and both he and Scaccia voted for DeLeo in 2009 and in each of his next three terms before missing this year’s vote.
Scaccia presided over much of Wednesday’s ceremony, taking turns with Rep. James Miceli of Wilmington.
Rogers was one of 25 representatives whom Scaccia appointed to a special committee tasked with notifying Gov. Charlie Baker the lawmakers-elect were ready to take their oaths of office.
After alerting Scaccia the committee had escorted Baker to the chamber, Rogers said, “I wish to in advance congratulate the distinguished gentleman from Winthrop for his re-election which will take place soon.”
“However, the honorable membership of this committee has taken notice that the gentleman from Readville enjoys rather much being called Mr. Speaker,” Rogers said, to laughter. “And the recommendation of this committee is if the gentleman from Readville desires to continue to be called Mr. Speaker, he should place the House in a brief recess for a period of two years.”
“You’re one of the smartest guys I’ve ever met up here, you know that,” Scaccia replied. “I only have 25, is that enough?”