Q&A: Patrick McCabe, Candidate for Governor's Councilor District 2

McCabe, of Hyde Park, is one of several candidates for the vacant position.


Hyde Park resident Patrick McCabe is running for Governor's Councilor for District 2.

The Governor's Council consists of eight districts and eight councilors, who make $26,025 a year. The Second Councillor District (double 'l' on the Commonwealth's website) represents 39 cities and towns throughout five counties, including West Roxbury. 

The election is to replace the late  who passed away in February. The election is Thurs., Sept. 6. Kelly's brother, Bart, has also announced that he's running for the position, as has .

McCabe answered several questions about the job, why he's qualified and why you should vote for him.


Why are you running for the Governor's Councilor for District 2?

McCabe: I have been involved with the proceedings of the Governor’s Council for the past four years. I have stated during the last two elections that if the seat were open I would run. When I became aware that the seat was to be open, I started making my plans to run.

What qualifies you for this job?

McCabe: I understand better than any other candidate how the council works. In the past four years I have developed a working relationship with each of the current council members, as well as Lt. Governor Murray. I know Governor Patrick, having first met him in the 80’s, I don't claim to know him well.

I have researched, reviewed resumes, and presented questions to numerous nominees.

I have watched hearings for each office that the Governor’s Council is responsible for, following up with my own research, to become better informed about these offices.

I follow decisions issued by the Appeals Court and the Supreme Judicial Court, through the free feed provided by our libraries.

I am an active viewer of the District Court through the OpenCourt Program run by WBUR.

I love speaking to people about the issues that face the nominees that come before the Governor’s Council, whether they are members of the general public, bar associations, lawyers, elected officials, members of the judiciary or the nominees themselves.

In the last four years I have worked to improve the process by which these nominees are approved, working to make sure a public record is created for each nominee, showing what their qualifications are for the position they seek.

What do you think are the three main responsibilities for the Governor's Council?


  1. Vetting the nominees presented by the Governor.
  2. Reviewing pardons and commutations (although this process does not appear to be in use at this time).
  3. Processing the paperwork for warrants, notary public, and justices of the peace.

What would make you vote for, or against, a judge nominated by the Massachusetts governor?

McCabe: The purpose of the Governors Council is to advise the Governor. From what I have seen when it becomes apparent that a nominee is not qualified for a position, the nominee is withdrawn. Before I would vote against any nominee I would do my utmost to convince all responsible parties that a nominee is unqualified.

As with any job, being qualified for a position is a prerequisite. Qualifications would include: knowledge of the position; experience with the position; lack of bias; honesty; and integrity.

You are an accountant by trade - what is your current employment status? How will your past work experiences help you be a good Governor's Councilor if elected?

McCabe: I have been employed in a part-time status during our economic downturn.

My work experience helps me when people start to throw numbers around, but it is my experience outside of work that will help me most.

I have attended community meetings my whole life and understand the dynamics of listening to others, and making sure their concerns are acknowledged when presenting other points of view.

I understand the need to build a consensus in order to prevail.

I have been an unpaid advocate, most notably last year when the OpenCourt project revealed that citizens were being jailed because they could not pay their court fees. After several people blogged about this issue I wrote to Justice (Linda) Connolly, Chief of the District Courts. She acknowledged that there was work to done, and the situation improved, though not necessarily resolved.

My desire, like so many people’s, to have our government treat us fairly within the confines of the law is what will guide me in office. I will bring my experience advocating for fair treatment to the office.  

you want more transparency from the Governor's Council - do you feel the Council has not been transparent?

McCabe: The processes by which appointments are made in this state are not transparent at all. The Governor’s Council is the only part of the process that is accessible to the public. If the Council asks no questions, or leaves pertinent questions unasked then they are contributing to the lack of transparency. From my experience the Governor’s Council has been moving in the direction of openness and transparency, but there is more to be done.


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