By Yadira Betances
---- — LAWRENCE — Pavel Payano, vice chairman of the Lawrence School Committee, said he is exploring the possibility of running as a Democrat for the State Senate seat currently held by Barry Finegold, if Finegold makes a run for state treasurer next year
The Second Essex and Middlesex District is composed of Lawrence, Andover, Dracut and Tewksbury. Finegold, who has represented the district since 2011 and before that was a member of the House for 11 years, is widely considered to be a possible candidate for state treasurer.
“This job is not just about creating bills, it’s about being out on the streets, motivating residents, kids, business and parents to tell us want they need. I want to be that bridge between those different communities,” Payano said Friday.
Payano said he will speak with area residents to hear their concerns and tell them his plans on how to solve them. He said these dialogues will help him make his decision to run by the beginning of the year.
His team is made up of a core group of 8 to 10 people most of whom are business men and others who work in the public sector of different ages and cultural backgrounds.
“We all have a passion for creating this message and understanding the need of getting the city and the area united around a common goal and moving forward,” he said.
Payano, a native of the Dominican Republic, said his aspiration for public service began at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where he was president of the Student Government Association and oversaw its $1.8 million budget.
Among the needs in the district, Payano said he wants to have schools encourage students to go into engineering, science and fiance fields and help cities and towns that make up the district can work together.
“This is not about one city, we not only need to be united, but connect with other communities and unify ourselves. It’s about growing the area in every way so we can compete with industries in Greater Boston,” he said.
Payano is a member of the Democratic party serving on local and national campaigns and initiatives, including for Gov. Deval Patrick. He was also a special assistant to Congresswoman Niki Tsongas working on economic development and helping advocate for constituents with immigration and social security issues. While working with Tsongas, he researched how Lowell was able to recreate itself and how Lawrence can find ways to do the same.
Payano was co-director of President Barack Obama’s Nashua office for Latinos in New Hampshire during the 2008 presidential race, coordinating strategies and messages and said he has met Obama a half dozen times.