Setti Warren

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Setti Warren
Setti Warren - portrait (April 2011).jpg
Mayor of Newton
Assumed office
January 1, 2010
Preceded by David Cohen
Personal details
Born (1970-05-15) May 15, 1970 (age 47)
Newton, Massachusetts, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Alma mater Boston College
Suffolk University
Religion Roman Catholicism
Website Campaign website

Setti David Warren (born May 15, 1970)[1] is the current Mayor of Newton, Massachusetts, and a former Democratic candidate for United States Senate. He is the first popularly elected African-American Mayor in Massachusetts. Setti is also currently running for Governor in the Massachusetts gubernatorial election, 2018. He announced his candidacy on May 20th, 2017.

Early life and education[edit]

Warren, along with his twin sister Makeda, were born in 1970[2][3][4] to their parents Joseph and Elpidia (née Lopez) Warren.[5] His father, Joseph D. Warren, was an advisor for Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis's 1988 presidential campaign, and worked in the African-American studies department at Northeastern University before his death in 2010.[6] His mother, Elpidia Lopez, is a retired social worker.[3] He also has a stepmother, Martha L. (Walker) Warren.[3] His younger sister Kara, who had struggled with severe asthma throughout her life, died in November 2005 at the age of 27.[7]

Warren completed elementary school at the private school Jackson Walnut Park in Newton and then attended Newton North High School, where he was the class president for all four years, and while he attended Boston College, he was also elected student body president. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in history in 1993.[8][9] He received a Juris Doctor from Suffolk University Law School's night classes in 2006, although he has not taken the bar exam to practice law.[8]

Early career and Navy service[edit]

After graduating from college, Warren worked for two years with his family's consulting business. In 1995 he joined the New England branch of U.S. President Bill Clinton's re-election campaign.[10] From 1996 to 2000 he worked in several White House Offices under Clinton: the Advance Office, Cabinet Affairs Office, and the Social Office.[8] He served as New England regional director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) from 2000 to 2001, where he implemented a performance management system for the office.[10] He then worked for two years in fundraising at Boston College.[8]

Warren enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve in 2003. Around the same time, he joined the presidential campaign of U.S. Senator John Kerry, where he was his trip director.[11] After the election, Warren became deputy director of Kerry's Massachusetts office.[11] Around this time, he served partial terms on the Newton Community Preservation Committee and Economic Development Commission. He resigned each mid-term as his career with Kerry developed.[8]

In October 2007, Warren left Kerry's office to serve as Naval intelligence specialist in Iraq.[11] Before leaving, he assembled a committee to explore a candidacy for mayor of Newton. While he was on training in South Carolina in late 2007, his committee filed papers for his election.[10]

Mayor of Newton[edit]

Warren at his desk in April 2011.

Newton Mayor David Cohen announced that he would not be seeking re-election in May 2008, leaving an open field which had not occurred in Newton since 1971.[12][13] Warren, on leave from Iraq in June 2008, declared his intent to run. His campaign was forestalled until he completed his tour of duty the following October, as Department of Defense regulations forbid active duty service men from seeking elected office.[14][15] In November 2008 Warren formally announced his candidacy, pledging to "protect the sacred trust between the citizens in this city and public servants."[16]

During the campaign Warren emphasized his record with FEMA, including the management of civil servants.[8] Warren was elected November 3, 2009 in a vote of 11,233 to 10,772,[17] defeating State Representative Ruth Balser. Warren took office on January 1, 2010.

Warren faced re-election on November 5, 2013. The field of four candidates was narrowed down to two in a primary election on September 17, 2013. In the general election, Warren defeated Newton Alderman Ted Hess-Mahan.

U.S. Senate campaign, 2012[edit]

On May 9, 2011 Setti Warren announced his candidacy to represent Massachusetts in the United States Senate in the 2012 election. On September 29, 2011 Warren dropped out of the race, declaring "I no longer believe I have a clear path to victory in this race".[18] He endorsed eventual Democratic nominee, Elizabeth Warren.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Warren's first marriage ended in divorce.[citation needed] Warren later married Elizabeth Tasker "Tassy" Plummer on August 12, 2006, with John Kerry serving as his groomsman.[3] A Newton native, Tassy worked on the Kerry presidential campaign, where she met Warren.[7] As of 2011, Tassy is a project director at the Harvard University Center on the Developing Child.[20] Together they have one daughter named Abigail and a son.[7]


  1. ^ "Setti Warren, Candidate". electful. July 27, 2012. 
  2. ^ Warren, Setti (April 7, 2010). "Newton mayor Setti Warren's eulogy for his father Joseph Warren". Newton Tab. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Tassy Plummer and Setti Warren". The New York Times. August 13, 2006. 
  4. ^ Goonough, Abby (December 22, 2009). "History Made, Mayor-Elect Focuses on Local Issues". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ "Obituary; Kara Warren, 27, loved the arts, helping others". Boston Herald. November 5, 2005. 
  6. ^ "Joseph Warren, father of Mayor Setti Warren, dies". Newton Tab. April 7, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b c Hilliard, John (January 20, 2010). "Newton's first lady: Tassy Warren looks for balance between work and family". Newton Tab. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f Calvin Hennick (October 11, 2009). "Warren cites role at agency". The Boston Globe. Retrieved August 12, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Community Briefing: A run for mayor?". The Boston Globe. August 5, 2007. 
  10. ^ a b c Hilliard, John (October 21, 2009). "Warren says he will bring consensus, new ideas". Newton Tab. 
  11. ^ a b c Gelzinis, Peter (September 30, 2007). "Off to Iraq: Duty calls, Kerry staffer answers". Boston Herald. 
  12. ^ Loh, Christopher (May 14, 2008). "Cohen says he will not seek re-election". Newton Tab. 
  13. ^ Long, Chrissie (May 14, 2008). "Candidates eye run to become Newton's next mayor". Newton Tab. 
  14. ^ Loh, Christopher (July 1, 2008). "Navy first, Newton mayoral race second for Setti Warren". Newton Tab. 
  15. ^ "DoD Directive 1344.10". United States Department of Defense. June 15, 1990. 
  16. ^ Bagley, Steve (November 18, 2008). "Setti Warren announces campaign for mayor of Newton". Newton Tab. 
  17. ^ "Election results, 2009" (PDF). City of Newton, Massachusetts. 
  18. ^ "Settie Warren quits race against Scott Brown, conceding 'overwhelming' odds". Boston Globe. September 29, 2011. 
  19. ^ Gotsis, Chloe. "Mayor Warren officially endorses Elizabeth Warren for U.S. Senate". Wicked Local Newton. Wicked Local. Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Center Director & Staff". Harvard University Center on the Developing Child. 

External links[edit]