John E. Walsh

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John E. Walsh (born April 14, 1958) is an American businessman and political figure who is the Founder and Principal of Walsh Strategies and served as chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic Party.

Political career[edit]

A graduate of Cardinal Spellman High School and Princeton University,[1] Walsh's political career began shortly after he graduated from college when he helped a friend who was running for the Abington School Committee. Although his friend lost a close race to an incumbent, Walsh was appointed to the Abington finance committee.[2] At the age of 26, he was elected to the Abington Board of Selectmen, where he would serve from 1983 to 1993.[3] He also spent three years as a member of the Plymouth County Charter Commission.[1]

During the 1998 Massachusetts gubernatorial election, Walsh served as field director of Brian J. Donnelly’s campaign. In 2002 he was the campaign manager for the Massachusetts Democratic Party’s Coordinated Campaign. Walsh served as Deval Patrick's campaign manager during his successful 2006 Massachusetts gubernatorial run[2][4] and was also the director of his transition team.[5] David Axelrod, a campaign advisor to Barack Obama, described Patrick's 2006 campaign as a model for Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.[6]

From 2007 to 2013, Walsh was chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic Party. During his tenure as chairman, Democrat Martha Coakley was upset by Republican Scott Brown in the 2010 United States Senate special election. After this loss, Walsh oversaw the party’s grassroots campaign that helped Senate candidates Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey win in 2012 and 2013, respectively. The Democrats also retained control over the state’s entire US House delegation, all statewide elected offices, and a supermajority in both houses of the State Legislature. Walsh resigned as chairman to become executive director of Deval Patrick's Together PAC.[6][7]

In 2015, Walsh formed Walsh Strategies, a consultancy that specializes in helping leaders [8] [9] and organizations [10] [11] fully understand and consciously engage their various communities to achieve their goals.

In the fall of 2018, Walsh was a founder and the Treasurer of Reason To Believe PAC, an organization established to support progressive Democrats and policies across the country in the 2018 election cycle and to learn lessons about the effective use of grassroots tactics in the current political climate. [12]

Business career[edit]

Walsh continues to serve as the President of Independence Insurance Agency, Inc., a small insurance agency located in Abington.[1][2]

Personal life[edit]

Walsh grew up in Abington, MA and currently lives with his wife Donna in the Lower Mills section of Dorchester, a neighborhood in Boston, MA. [13] He has one son, Coleman, who lives in Savin Hill and works at EverTrue.

In 2010, Walsh suffered a mild heart attack.[14]


  1. ^ a b c "Delegate Diary". Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  2. ^ a b c "State Democratic Party chairman John E. Walsh". The Patriot Ledger. June 10, 2009. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  3. ^ Slaney, Mikaela (February 7, 2008). "Walsh calls Obama-Clinton race a win-win scenario". Abington Mariner. Retrieved 4 June 2011.
  4. ^ Preer, Robert (23 November 2006). "Man behind the win; Abington's John Walsh guided Deval Patrick's gubernatorial run". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  5. ^ Dan Ring; Stan Freeman (December 5, 2006). "Patrick seeks input". The Republican (Springfield). Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  6. ^ a b Jim O’Sullivan; Frank Phillips (July 16, 2013). "State Democratic party chairman to step down". The Boston Globe. Retrieved November 4, 2013.
  7. ^ Schoenberg, Shira (July 16, 2013). "Massachusetts Democratic Chairman John Walsh, taking over Gov. Deval Patrick's PAC, says Patrick will not run in 2016 presidential race". The Republican. Retrieved November 3, 2013.
  8. ^ Lauren Dezenski (November 16, 2016). "Newton mayor makes move toward gubernatorial run with new hire". Politico.
  9. ^ Lauren Dezenski (February 6, 2018). "KOH hires another WALSH". Politico Playbook.
  10. ^ Richard Weir (March 12, 2015). "Boston 2024 hires defended". The Boston Herald.
  11. ^ "Massachusetts Teachers Association Campaign School. Have you ever thought about running for office?".
  12. ^ Gintautus Dumcius (August 29, 2018). "Deval Patrick aides launch 'Reason To Believe' PAC amid chatter about 2020 presidential run". MassLive.
  13. ^ "Patrick's man Walsh eases into Lower Mills". Dorchester Reporter. April 24, 2014.
  14. ^ "State Democratic Party Chairman Walsh recovering from mild heart attack". The Enterprise (Brockton). July 19, 2010. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
Party political offices
Preceded by
Philip W. Johnston
Chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic Party
Succeeded by
Thomas M. McGee