DeLeo: House still mourning, plans pending for election to replace Rep. Gailanne Cariddi

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NORTH ADAMS — According to a spokesman for Robert A. DeLeo, speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, arrangements are pending for a special election to elect a successor to serve the remainder of the late state Rep. Gailanne Cariddi's term in the 1st Berkshire District House seat.

He noted that the House is in mourning after Cariddi's passing and would be working on that later this week.

Cariddi died suddenly Saturday after a battle with cancer. Her family has announced funeral arrangements for Wednesday and Thursday.

According to state law, it will be up to the speaker to set a special election.

At the time of her passing, Cariddi was serving as the chairwoman of the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Committee in the House. She was in her fourth term in the House representing Adams, Cheshire, Clarksburg, Florida, Hancock, Lanesborough, New Ashford, Williamstown and North Adams — the first woman to hold that seat.

Cariddi was a Democrat who got her start in public service on the North Adams City Council where she served for 21 years.

First sworn into city council in 1990, Cariddi served as council vice president in 1991, 1998 and 1999, according to North Adams city records. She served as council president in 1994 and 2000. She resigned her city council seat in January 2011 after being elected to the House in November 2010. She was elected unopposed to her fourth term in the House in November 2016.

With her first election to the House in 2010, Cariddi became the second woman from Berkshire County to hold a seat in the state legislature.

She was an active member for many years with the Berkshire Bike Path Council. She also served on the North Adams Public Library building committee and had been involved in numerous other local initiatives and was a frequent attendee and participant at local events and volunteer efforts. She also was a longtime member of the North Adams Democratic City Committee. Gail was also a board member of Northern Berkshire Community Television and featured local news of interest regularly on her shows.

Before being elected to public office, Gail was the financial manager of Cariddi Sales Co. for over 30 years where she hosted the annual Santa Fund toy pickups.Cariddi was a native of North Adams, the daughter of James Cariddi, who bought what used to be the Greylock Mill on State Road to house his wholesale toy business, Cariddi Sales Co. She became interested in government at an early age. She graduated from Bentley University in Waltham.


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