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The race is on: State Senator Moran announces she will not run for re-election

Senator Susan Moran speaks at a protest in front of Plymouth Town Hall before an NDCAP meeting, Sept. 26, 2022.
Jennette Barnes
Senator Susan Moran speaks at a protest in front of Plymouth Town Hall before an NDCAP meeting, Sept. 26, 2022.

State Senator Susan Moran, who represents the Plymouth and Barnstable District, has decided not to run for reelection in 2024.
She told CAI she plans to run for clerk of courts for Barnstable County Superior Court.

She says she's been asked to run for the position because of a belief that she would work well with fellow Democrats recently elected as district attorney and sheriff.
“Working with the newly elected D.A. and sheriff, I think that would be sort of the third leg of this stool in terms of serving Barnstable County and making sure that the community has a lot of engagement and is listened to,” Moran said.

The current clerk of courts is Republican Scott Nickerson, who was elected in 2000.

Moran said the core function of the clerk of courts is to improve efficiency, transparency, and access in the handling of court data.

“It was a really difficult decision,” Moran said. “It's something that I was asked to do. So I thought about it in response to the ask. And I come from a job that I absolutely love.”

Moran said the "ask" came out of community conversations.

Moran’s decision leaves her senate seat open. The district includes Bourne, Falmouth, Mashpee, and Sandwich, along with part of Plymouth County.

Moran will complete two full terms, after first winning the seat in a special election in 2020.

She said she’s not ready to make an endorsement.

Fernandes announces for the open senate seat

Fast in the wake of Moran’s announcement, State Representative Dylan Fernandes told CAI that he is running for the state senate seat for the Plymouth and Barnstable district.

He becomes the first declared candidate for the seat.

Fernandes said Moran’s decision was unexpected.

“It’s frankly a surprise to me,” he said. “But look, this is another opportunity to continue doing the work fighting for our environment, supporting affordable housing, and combatting our opioid epidemic.”

Since 2017 Fernandes has served as representative for a district that includes Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and four precincts in Falmouth.

In explaining his decision to run, Fernandes cited his priorities, including affordable housing, protecting the environment, and addressing the opioid epidemic. 

“Now I can continue doing that work,” he said, “for the hometown district I grew up in, that I love, that my family’s been here for generations – but on a larger platform, so with the hope of being able to get even more done for the people that live here."

With Moran’s decision and Fernandes declaring his campaign, two seats have now become open in the Cape delegation.

Jennette Barnes is a reporter and producer. Named a Master Reporter by the New England Society of News Editors, she brings more than 20 years of news experience to CAI.
Elsa Partan is a producer and newscaster with CAI. She first came to the station in 2002 as an intern and fell in love with radio. She is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. From 2006 to 2009, she covered the state of Wyoming for the NPR member station Wyoming Public Media in Laramie. She was a newspaper reporter at The Mashpee Enterprise from 2010 to 2013. She lives in Falmouth with her husband and two daughters.
Steve is Managing Editor of News. He came to WCAI in 2007. He also hosts the weekly News Roundup on Friday mornings and produces The Fishing News.