Richard Tisei is a longtime resident of the 6th Congressional District His great grandparents emigrated from Tivoli, Italy, and arrived in Lynn. His father was a local builder and his mother ran a small business. Richard attended Lynnfield Public Schools before earning his B.A. degree from American University in 1984. That same year, Richard won a surprise victory in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, becoming the youngest Republican ever elected to that body.
A realtor and small businessman in Lynnfield, Richard went on to win another upset election as a state senator in 1990. Tisei won in an overwhelmingly Democratic-registered district in which Republicans were usually out-numbered by around 9 to 1. That same year, he was asked by former U.S. Attorney Bill Weld to serve as his Campaign Chairman for Governor. Weld won an upset election, becoming the first Republican Governor in Massachusetts in 20 years.
As a state senator, Richard fought for a legislative agenda that emphasized government reforms and transparency for the taxpayers. He opposed tax increases and staunchly advocated balanced budgets which controlled proposed spending. Former Governor Paul Cellucci described him as a “principled friend and ally” when it came to “fighting to reduce taxes, cut spending, or reform state government.” As State Senate Minority Leader in 2010, Richard led opposition to the sales tax increase and offered over $1 billion in cost-saving reform measures.
Richard earned a top score of 100 in 2009 from the Citizens for Limited Taxation and has consistently received high marks from other pro-growth groups in the state which monitor legislator’s voting records on issues pertaining to job creation, spending, and support for small business. Among these groups are the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the Mass High Technology Council, and the Massachusetts Federation of Independent Businesses.
Richard played an important role in passage of several significant measures during his time in the legislature, including the 1993 Welfare Reform Law and the Whistleblower Protection Law. Welfare Reform, signed into law by Governor William Weld, was considered a model reform for the nation. The Whistleblower Protection Act was a landmark in the protection of healthcare workers from harassment or retaliation by employers for reporting patient abuse or unsafe working conditions.
Richard, whose father suffered from “Lou Gehrig’s disease” (ALS) and sister is disabled, has been recognized as a steadfast advocate for children, the disabled, and senior citizens. He’s won Legislator of the Year awards from such groups as the National Alliance for the Mentally-Ill (Massachusetts), the Massachusetts Silver-Haired Legislature, the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers, the Mystic Valley Elder Services, and the YMCAs of Massachusetts – among others. In 2009, he was awarded the Housing Families’ 2009 Community Hero Award for his advocacy efforts on behalf of homeless families.
In 2010, Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker named Richard as his running mate and was confirmed unanimously by delegates at the 2010 Republican State Convention as the candidate for Lieutenant Governor. The Baker / Tisei ticket lost statewide, but carried the 6th Congressional District handily.
Richard, who has three sisters, lives with his partner of 18 years in their home on Main Street in Wakefield, MA. He is the co-owner of Northrup Associates Realtors in Lynnfield, MA., which has grown into one of the largest independent real estate firms on the North Shore. Richard served as President of the Eastern Middlesex Association of Realtors and was named “Realtor of the Year” by the group in 2009. Richard is a licensed real estate broker and insurance agent, and is a member of the Lynn and Wakefield Chambers of Commerce.