Hughes was born and raised in Quincy. She began her political involvement at the age of twelve as a volunteer for William Weld's gubernatorial campaign. She graduated from Notre Dame Academy in 1995.
Hughes earned a degree in theater arts from New York University. For over eighteen years, she worked as a singing waitress at West Quincy’s Common Market Café. She also sang professionally in New York City, participated in community musicals, performed around Boston with a cover band called Velvet Krush, and played Ariel for a year in the Walt Disney World show Voyage of the Little Mermaid.
Hughes was a political field director for the Massachusetts Republican Party and ran the party’s state convention in 2010. She then served as deputy finance director for Scott Brown's 2012 Senate campaign. In this role she helped Brown raise $42 million.
In 2011, Hughes was elected to the Quincy City Council in Ward 5. She defeated Neil McCole 1,804 votes to 1,288.
On December 6, 2012, Hughes declared her candidacy for Chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party. She faced Richard Green, a state committeeman, businessman, and founder of the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance. Hughes was seen as the establishment candidate while Green was seen as anti-establishment.
- "City Councilor Information". City of Quincy. City of Quincy. Retrieved February 4, 2013.
- "Quincy attorney Kirsten Hughes to run for Ward 5 city councilor". Patriot Ledger. May 11, 2011. Retrieved February 4, 2013.
- Pai, Tanya (September 2011). "Person of Interest: Kirsten Hughes". Boston Magazine. Retrieved February 4, 2013.
- Ebbert, Stephanie (February 2, 2013). "Hughes takes her presence to Mass. GOP stage". The Boston Globe. Retrieved February 4, 2013.
- Ebbert, Stephanie (December 8, 2012). "Some in state GOP bristle at Brown’s suggestion for leader". The Boston Globe. Retrieved February 4, 2013.
- Ebbert, Stephanie (February 1, 2013). "Former Brown aide wins top post for Mass. Republicans". The Boston Globe. Retrieved February 4, 2013.
- Bartlett, Jessica (November 9, 2011). "Incumbents welcome results in Quincy vote". The Boston Globe. Retrieved February 4, 2013.
- Johnson, Glen (December 6, 2012). "Scott Brown finance aide declares candidacy". The Boston Globe. Retrieved February 4, 2013.
- Rizzuto, Robert (January 31, 2013). "Kirsten Hughes elected new chair of Massachusetts Republican Party". The Republican. Retrieved February 4, 2013.
|Party political offices|
|Chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party