Longtime 29th Middlesex State Rep. Jonathan Hecht received a serenade some of his biggest supporters on Wednesday, who thanked him for his 12 years representing Watertown on Beacon Hill.
Supporters from Watertown and Cambridge sang Hecht a song thanking him for his work on Beacon Hill, including the improvements to the Charles River Park, the Watertown/Cambridge Greenway bicycle and pedestrian path, support for clean energy, transportation and health care.
Hecht came out of his home, still bleary eyed from his last day as state rep, which lasted until the early hours of Wednesday. He told the gathering of about two dozen people the day had been a strange and bittersweet one. He finished his last term on Beacon Hill, during which some key legislation including transportation funding was passed, on the same day that supporters of President Trump invaded the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
“I remember the day I was elected I was the day President Obama was elected. That was a happy day,” Hecht said. “Last night, I was up until four in the morning. It turned out to be a good night. Now to see what’s happening today, it’s very upsetting.”
Hecht said he had heard some whispers about a possible gathering, but said he was still stunned to see everyone. He has represented Watertown for nearly 15 years, and was first elected to the Town Council in 2005. Then Hecht won the race to replace Rachel Kaprielian as State Rep. He recalled the race was an all write-in election because Kaprielian was appointed the Registrar of Motor Vehicles by Gov. Deval Patrick after the deadline for candidate filing deadline for the 2008 election.
Many of the people at Wednesday’s gathering had been with him since he won that election.
“Many people were there with me that night at Barbara Ruskin’s house watching the returns come in,” Hecht said.
Watertown resident David Leon know Hecht worked on Hecht’s first race for State Representative, and wore his T-shirt from that campaign.
“He lead by his principles and his values, while representing his district,” Leon said.
Watertown’s Rosanne Glickman worked on Hecht’s campaign for State Senator, which was ultimately won by Will Brownsberger. While she supported his policies, but she said one thing about Hecht stood out for her.
“He is just a nice human being,” Glickman said. “He’s pleasant to deal with.”
Town Councilor Caroline Bays worked on Hecht’s first campaign for State Rep, and said he has served as an inspiration for her.
“I wouldn’t be a Town Councilor without Jon,” Bays said. “He has really served as a role model.”
Steve Owens, who succeeded Hecht in the 29th Middlesex House seat, arrived a bit late for the event. He came straight from his first day as a State Rep. at the State House.
“He has been a great friend and mentor,” Owens said. “I hope to follow in his footsteps.”
Hecht said he was thankful for his supporters, and said that they had done as much as him, if not played a bigger role, in supporting of many of the issues they sang to him about.
“It really has been a great district to represent, wonderful people,” Hecht said.
While he is leaving the State House, Hecht said “I’m not done yet.” He added he sees his mother is an inspiration for his future.
“When she was about my age, she made up her mind. She made the last 30 years of her lifetime to really dig in and do good work,” Hecht said.