Warren Tolman

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Warren Tolman
Member of the Massachusetts Senate from the Middlesex and Suffolk district
In office
Preceded by Michael J. Barrett
Succeeded by Steven Tolman
Member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from the 32nd Middlesex district
In office
Preceded by John C. Bartley
Succeeded by Rachel Kaprielian
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

Warren E. Tolman (born October 23, 1959 in Boston, Massachusetts[1]) is a Massachusetts lawyer and former member of the Massachusetts General Court, serving in both of the Court's houses. He was a candidate for governor of Massachusetts in 2002, but lost the race for the Democratic nomination to Shannon O'Brien. 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]

Tolman attended Amherst College and Boston College Law School, working in the interim as a United Parcel Service driver.[3] He was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1990 and the Massachusetts Senate in 1994. 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.[4]

In 2002, he became an Of Counsel for Holland & Knight.[5] He has argued in court for reforms of the indigent defense law in Massachusetts.[6] He routinely appears as a political pundit on the Fox 25 Morning News.[7]

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.[8] 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.[9]

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.[10]

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. ^ Jordan, Robert A. (October 6, 1998). "Tolman an Asset for Harshbarger". Boston Globe. 
  5. ^ Holland & Knight, LLP
  6. ^ Krumholz, Josh; Warren Tolman (February 26, 2005). "No Justice for Mikaela". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2009-03-19. 
  7. ^ "Press". Grey Media. Gray Media, LLC. Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  8. ^ Belluck, Pam (January 28, 2002). "Act on Clean Elections Law, Court Orders Massachusetts". The New York Times. 
  9. ^ McNamara, Eileen (June 7, 2006). "Campaign Excesses". Boston Globe. 
  10. ^ Shanahan, Mark; Paysha Rhone (July 19, 2008). "Names--Pols night out". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2009-03-19.