John F. Keenan (State Senator)

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For other people named John Keenan, see John Keenan.
John F. Keenan
Member of the Massachusetts Senate
from the Norfolk and Plymouth district
Assumed office
January 5, 2011
Preceded by Michael W. Morrissey
City Councilor At-Large, Quincy, Massachusetts
In office
Personal details
Born 1964
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Jeanne Keenan
Residence Quincy, Massachusetts
Occupation Legislator

John F. Keenan, (born 1964) is a member of the Massachusetts State Senate for the Norfolk and Plymouth district.

Prior to being elected to the Massachusetts State Senate he served on the Quincy City Council from 2003 to 2012. He finished his term on the Quincy City Council in January 2012 and did not seek re-election.[1] He was sworn in on January 5, 2011.[2] Senator Keenan ran unopposed in the general election on November 2012.

Early life[edit]

John F. Keenan was born, as the fourth of seven children, in 1964 [3]) to Philip and Loretta Keenan. His father worked in the mailing room of the Record American, and then the Boston Herald, while his mother worked at Filene’s and CNA Insurance. Keenan was raised in Quincy, Massachusetts, and attended Quincy schools. John graduated with honors from Harvard in 1986, with a government concentration. Three years later, he graduated from Suffolk University Law School. In May 2005, he received a certificate of recognition upon completion of a nine-month seminar program on municipal governance and policy at the Rappaport Institute at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He began working as a litigator, and later as a lawyer.[4]

Quincy City Council[edit]

In 2003 John was appointed to the Quincy City Council to fill a vacant seat, and was elected Councilor at Large in 2004. He was re-elected Councilor at Large four times, the last time topping the ticket. He served as Chairman of the Council’s Finance Committee for eight years.

Massachusetts State Senate[edit]



In 2010, John F. Keenan ran for the Massachusetts State Senate, for the Norfolk and Plymouth district. He beat a Democratic Party primary challenger, Arthur Steven Tobin, with 9,539 to Tobin's 8,146, well over 55% of the vote.[5] In the general election, Keenan defeated Republican Daniel M. Dewey and Independent Laura Innis, 29,982 votes to 18,582 for Dewey and 5,152 for Innis.[6]


In 2012, Keenan, running for reelection, was unopposed in the Democratic primary, receiving all 5,309 votes cast.[7] In the general election, he was also unopposed, but garnered about 75% of the vote, with over 16,000 blank votes being submitted. His second term began in January, 2013.[8]


In 2014, Keenan will face republican challenger Les Gosule a resident of Quincy who is the father of a murder victim and he is a 'Three Strikes Activists', he has also worked over a decade to pass "Melissa’s Law" since his daughter was murdered in 1999.[9][10] Senator Keenan plans to kick off his campaign and open a headquarters in Quincy.


Senator Keenan's campaign website shows he is working on pension reform, veterans' affairs, and a reform of the budget. He is advocating for a balanced budget, by reducing spending, while raising taxes. He supports renewable energy, and giving more control, stability, communication, and funding to local communities, cities, and towns.[11]

Keenan is a strong advocate for reforms to Medical Marijuana, saying Massachusetts needs a common sense approach to legalization of medical marijuana. He urged voters to vote "No" on Massachusetts proposition 3, and since its passage has said the law is subject to exploitation, and should be changed to include guards against non-medical use.[12] He also supports "taking a look" at gun laws, and possibly proposing new gun control legislation, in wake of the recent Newtown School shooting, in nearby Connecticut, and other mass shootings.[13]

Senate Committees[edit]

  • Chair, Joint Committee on Public Health
  • Vice Chair, Senate Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets
  • Joint Committee on Financial Services
  • Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities
  • Joint Committee on the Judiciary
  • Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight
  • Joint Committee on Revenue

Personal life[edit]

John resides at 37 Hobomack Road with his wife, Jeanne Hopkins, and their three children. He is a member of the Merrymount Association, the Ward One Democratic Committee, the Quincy City Club, Friends of the Thomas Crane Public Library, and the Harvard Club of Quincy. He served for seven years as a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals, and also coached in the Sacred Heart Youth Basketball Program for several years.[14]

Keenan is also a practicing Catholic.[15]


  1. ^ Encarnacao, Jack [1], The Patriot Legder, November 11, 2010.
  2. ^ Nancy Reardon Stewart [2], The Patriot Ledger, January 11, 2011.
  3. ^ Sanger, David E. [3], The Patriot Legder, October 23, 2010.
  4. ^ "John F. Keenan Senator". MA State Legislatures. The General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 
  5. ^ Francis Galvin, William. "2012 Democratic Primary Results". 2010 Election Results. MA STATE SEC. OF STATE. 
  6. ^ Francis Galvin, William. "R e t u r n o f V o t e s For Massachusetts State Election November 2, 2010". 2010 MA Election Results. MA STATE SEC OF STATE. 
  7. ^ Francis Galvin, William. "09/06/2012 State Primary". Democratic MA State Primary Results. MA STATE SEC OF STATE. 
  8. ^ Francis Galvin, William. "R e t u r n o f V o t e s For Massachusetts State Election November 6, 2012". 2012 MA Election Results. MA STATE SEC OF STATE. 
  9. ^ Schoenberg, Shira. "". Masslive. 
  10. ^ Cabbot, Hillary. "". 2012 MA Election Results. Boston Herald. 
  11. ^ Keenan, John F. "Issues". Keenan for Senate. 
  12. ^ Keenan, John F. (December 29, 2012). "SEN. JOHN KEENAN: Toward a responsible medical marijuana program". The Patriot Ledger. 
  13. ^ Burrell, Chris (January 7, 2013). "Some local legislators, residents want new look at gun control laws". The Patriot Ledger. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ "JOHN F. KEENAN'S BIOGRAPHY". Project Vote Smart. One Common Ground. 

External links[edit]