Warren Tolman

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Warren Tolman
Tolman for Massachusetts Attorney General.JPG
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 58)
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 an American politician who has served as a member of both houses of the Massachusetts General Court was the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts in 1998, and was a candidate for Governor of Massachusetts in 2002, and Massachusetts Attorney General in 2014.

Legal and political career[edit]

The seventh of eight children and first in his family to graduate from 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 and as a substitute teacher in the Watertown Public Schools.[2] 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 1990s movement to curb tobacco use and oppose the political influence of the cigarette industry.[3] During his time in the Court, Tolman became known for his criticism of the Big Dig and his conflicts with House Speaker Thomas Finneran.[2] 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.[2] However, he attracted the most attention for his efforts in regard to Massachusetts's Clean Elections law, which had been passed by a 2-1 margin in 1998 by Massachusetts voters and was not funded by the legislature. 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 limiting campaign contributions to no more than $100.[8] He had previously supported the law as a senator.[2] It was eventually repealed. Tolman has since ascribed some of his electoral difficulties to the delay in funding.[9]

2014 Attorney General campaign[edit]

On November 7, 2013, Tolman declared his candidacy for the office of Massachusetts Attorney General.[10] 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.[11] 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.[12] Tolman prioritized bringing colleges and universities together to take action on campus sexual assault,[13] standing up for consumers,[14] and ending the state's opiate abuse crisis.[15] 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.[16] In June, Warren Tolman earned the endorsement of the Massachusetts Democratic Party at the annual state convention.[17]

Tolman faced off against former Assistant Attorney General Maura Healey in the primary. Tolman was endorsed by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh as well as all four living former Massachusetts Attorneys General. Tolman was defeated by Healey in the primary election and Healey went on to become Massachusetts Attorney General. Tolman endorsed Healey after the primary and campaigned for her.

Personal life[edit]

Tolman grew up in Watertown, Massachusetts in a working-class family and attended public schools in Watertown, MA, including Watertown High School.[2]

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. They begin their family in Boston Public Housing at Fidelis Way in Brighton. Former Massachusetts State Senator and current Massachusetts AFL-CIO President Steven Tolman is his brother.[18]

Tolman is married to his high school sweetheart and fellow Watertown native Carolyn Tolman; they have three children.[2]


  1. ^ 1991–1992 Public Officers of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Turco, Al (February 27, 2002). "Democratic Mass. Governor contender Warren Tolman". The Stoneham Independent. Retrieved 2009-03-19. 
  3. ^ Phillips, Frank (November 7, 2013). "Tolman to run for Attorney General". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2014-07-28. 
  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. ^ Battenfeld, Joe. "Warren Tolman Ready for Spotlight After 11 Years". Boston Herald. Retrieved 18 September 2014. 
  11. ^ Lee, Brian. "AG Rivals Ponder Smart Gun Technology". Telegram.com. Retrieved 18 September 2014. 
  12. ^ Tolman, Warren. "A Solution to Gun Control is at Our Fingertips". Boston Globe. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  13. ^ Tolman, Warren. "Fighting Campus Sexual Assault". New England Journal of Higher Education. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  14. ^ Allen, Samantha. "Tolman touts his leadership in Democratic race for AG". Lowell Sun. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  15. ^ Larocque, Marc. "Attorney General Candidate Warren Tolman Visits Taunton". Taunton Daily Gazette. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  16. ^ Rizzuto, Robert. "Attorney General candidate Warren Tolman pushes plan to tackle women's issues". MassLive.com. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  17. ^ O'Sullivan, Jim. "Steve Grossman gets Democrats' nod at convention". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  18. ^ Shanahan, Mark; Paysha Rhone (July 19, 2008). "Names--Pols night out". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2009-03-19.