Warren Tolman

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Warren Tolman
Democrat candidate for
2014 Massachusetts Attorney General
Election date
Member of the Massachusetts Senate from the Middlesex and Suffolk district
Preceded by Michael J. Barrett
Succeeded by Steven Tolman
Personal details
Born (1959-10-23) October 23, 1959 (age 54)
Boston, Massachusetts
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Carolyn Tolman
Residence Watertown, Massachusetts
Alma mater Amherst College
Boston College Law School
Occupation Attorney
Website Warren Tolman for Massachusetts Attorney General

Warren E. Tolman (born October 23, 1959 in Boston, Massachusetts[1]) is a Massachusetts lawyer and a candidate for Massachusetts Attorney General. He is a former member of the Massachusetts General Court, serving in both of the Court's houses, and he was a candidate for governor of Massachusetts in 2002. On November 7, 2013, he declared his candidacy for the office of Massachusetts Attorney General, seeking to replace the current Attorney General and Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Martha Coakley.[2]

Legal and political career[edit]

The first in his family to go to college, Tolman received a Bachelor's Degree in Economics from Amherst College and a Juris Doctorate from Boston College Law School. Between college and law school, Tolman worked as a United Parcel Service driver as a substitute teacher in the Watertown Public Schools.[3] He was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1990 and the Massachusetts Senate in 1994. As a lawmaker, Tolman worked on tightening campaign finance laws and ethics statutes and was a leader in the 1990's movement to curb tobacco use and oppose the political influence of the cigarette industry.[4] During his time in the Court, Tolman became known for his criticism of the Big Dig and his conflicts with House Speaker Thomas Finneran.[3] In 1998, Tolman ran for lieutenant governor as the running-mate of Democratic nominee Scott Harshbarger. Though Harshbarger lost to Republican Paul Cellucci, Tolman was cited as an asset to his campaign.[5]

In 2002, he became an Of Counsel for Holland & Knight.[6] He has argued in court for reforms of the indigent defense law in Massachusetts.[7] He routinely appears as a political pundit on the Fox 25 Morning News.[8]

2002 gubernatorial election[edit]

Tolman ran for governor in 2002 on a platform that included reform of the Big Dig project and a single-payer state health care program.[3] However, he attracted the most attention for his efforts in regard to Massachusetts's Clean Elections law, which had previously been passed and not funded. Tolman was a plaintiff on a lawsuit, ultimately successful, to force the state to provide funding under the law. In order to be eligible for public campaign financing in case the law passed, he abided by its mandates even before it was technically in place, limiting individual campaign contributions to no more than $100.[9] He had previously supported the law as a senator.[3] It was eventually repealed. Tolman has since ascribed some of his electoral difficulties to the delay in funding.[10]

2014 Attorney General campaign[edit]

On November 7, 2013, Tolman declared his candidacy for the office of Massachusetts Attorney General, running to be a progressive, proactive Attorney General seeking to have a positive impact on the lives of Massachusetts families, their homes and their pocketbooks.[11] He has vowed to unleash smart gun technology in Massachusetts, saving lives from accidental gun shootings, curbing illegal gun trafficking, and protecting police officers from having their gun turned against them.[12] In December, Tolman penned an op-ed in the Boston Globe announcing his intention to use the state’s consumer protection statute to require gun manufacturers to utilize existing personalized gun technology for all weapons sold in the Commonwealth.[13] Tolman has also prioritized bringing colleges and universities together to take action on campus sexual assault,[14] standing up for consumers,[15] and ending the state's opiate abuse crisis.[16] He would enhance the Attorney General’s focus on domestic violence with the creation of an Office on Violence Against Women within the Civil Rights Division, tasked with implementing law enforcement and prevention policies and providing oversight and leadership in the effort to end violence against women.[17] In June, Warren Tolman earned the endorsement of the Massachusetts Democratic Party at the annual state convention.[18] Tolman’s campaign is also endorsed by The Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund[19] and Clean Water Action.[20] Other organizations that have endorsed Tolman include the Massachusetts Teachers Association,[21] the Massachusetts AFL-CIO,[22] the State Council of the SEIU,[23] the New England Regional Council of Carpenters,[24] the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts[25] and the Massachusetts Coalition of Police.[26] Former Massachusetts Democratic Party Chair John Walsh announced his early support for Tolman[27] and his campaign co-chairs are State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry and Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll.[28] Tolman earned the support of former State Treasurer Shannon O'Brien,[29] and has the endorsements of Congressmen Stephen Lynch[30] and Bill Keating,[31] and the four most recent former Massachusetts Attorneys General: Frank Bellotti, Scott Harshbarger, Tom Reilly and Jim Shannon.[32]

In August, Warren Tolman released his first advertisement in his campaign for Massachusetts Attorney General, in which he points out that he "fought to pass the Buffer Zone law to protect women exercising their right to choose" and as Attorney General, he'll "focus on gun violence and violence against women. [He] won’t wait to require fingerprint trigger locks on new guns sold." The following day, original Buffer Zone co-sponsors Rep. Ellen Story, former Rep. Paul Demakis, and former state Sen. Lois Pines endorsed Tolman's campaign extolling his activism in supporting a law establishing a buffer zone around abortion clinics.[33]

Personal life[edit]

Tolman grew up in Watertown, Massachusetts and attended public schools in Watertown, MA, including Watertown High School.[3]

His father, David, served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and later worked as a railroad conductor for 40 years. His mother, Marie, worked part-time as a telephone operator while taking care of her 8 children. Former Massachusetts State Senator and current Massachusetts AFL-CIO President Steven Tolman is his brother.[34]

Tolman is married to fellow Watertown native Carolyn Tolman; they have three children.[3]


  1. ^ 1991–1992 Public Officers of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 
  2. ^ Battenfeld, Joe (November 7, 2013). "Battenfeld: Warren Tolman ready for spotlight after 11 years". Boston Herald. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Turco, Al (February 27, 2002). "Democratic Mass. Governor contender Warren Tolman". The Stoneham Independent. Retrieved 2009-03-19. 
  4. ^ Phillips, Frank (November 7, 2013). "Tolman to run for Attorney General". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2014-07-28. 
  5. ^ Jordan, Robert A. (October 6, 1998). "Tolman an Asset for Harshbarger". Boston Globe. 
  6. ^ Holland & Knight, LLP
  7. ^ Krumholz, Josh; Warren Tolman (February 26, 2005). "No Justice for Mikaela". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2009-03-19. 
  8. ^ "Press". Grey Media. Gray Media, LLC. Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  9. ^ Belluck, Pam (January 28, 2002). "Act on Clean Elections Law, Court Orders Massachusetts". The New York Times. 
  10. ^ McNamara, Eileen (June 7, 2006). "Campaign Excesses". Boston Globe. 
  11. ^ http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/columnists/joe_battenfeld/2013/11/battenfeld_warren_tolman_ready_for_spotlight_after_11.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ http://www.telegram.com/article/20140712/NEWS/307129873/1116.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2013/12/16/podium-guns/WSWvu6BK8myxZfHVCwV8EO/comments.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ Empty citation (help) 
  15. ^ http://www.lowellsun.com/todaysheadlines/ci_26214756/tolman-touts-his-leadership-democratic-race-ag.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ http://www.tauntongazette.com/article/20140318/News/140316203.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  17. ^ http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/05/attorney_general_candidate_war_4.html#incart_river.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. ^ http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/06/14/grossman-coakley-berwick-make-ballot-for-governor/Q2x2IctPcFkyqy7kEcYOzM/story.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  19. ^ http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/04/environmental_league_of_massac.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  20. ^ http://www.cleanwateraction.org/press/clean-water-action-endorses-warren-tolman-attorney-general.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  21. ^ http://massteacher.org/news/archive/2014/mta_endorses_tolman_kerrigan_bump.aspx.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  22. ^ http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/05/attorney_general_hopeful_warre_1.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  23. ^ http://www.1199seiu.org/seiu_state_council_endorses_warren_tolman_for_massachusetts_attorney_general#sthash.pGc0ubfg.dpbs.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  24. ^ http://www.nercc.org/blog/p/1868.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  25. ^ http://waltham.wickedlocal.com/article/20140607/NEWS/140607002/12423.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  26. ^ https://www.facebook.com/646875865330692/photos/a.687167407968204.1073741832.646875865330692/760097117341899/?type=1.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  27. ^ http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/02/former_mass_democratic_party_c.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  28. ^ http://www.dotnews.com/litdrop/2014/sen-dorcena-forry-and-mayor-driscoll-sign-tolman-s-ag-campaign.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  29. ^ http://bluemassgroup.com/2014/05/why-i-am-endorsing-warren-tolman/.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  30. ^ http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/06/warren_tolman_picks_up_endorse.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  31. ^ http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140715/NEWS/407150312/1011/TOWN10.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  32. ^ http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/03/attorney_general_candidate_war.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  33. ^ http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/08/amherst_rep_ellen_story_cites.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  34. ^ Shanahan, Mark; Paysha Rhone (July 19, 2008). "Names--Pols night out". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2009-03-19.