What to Know
- Jimmy Tingle, running for lieutenant governor in Massachusetts, says he decided to become politically active after the 2016 election.
- Tingle's primary opponent, Quentin Palfrey, served in the Obama administration and won the party endorsement in June.
- Tingle, who graduated with a Masters from Harvard in 2010, thinks his ability to connect with people will help him win on Nov. 4.
After a long career as a comedian, Jimmy Tingle is working on his second act - hoping to become the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor in Massachusetts.
Tingle says he decided to become active after the 2016 election.
“I felt that if Donald Trump can use his entertainment background for his purposes, I can try to use my entertainment background and my messaging ability for the purposes of what I believe in," he said.
Tingle believes that government can change lives. It's a lesson he says he learned in 1987 when a federally-funded program at Cambridge City Hospital responded to his cry for help with alcoholism.
“A year later, I went on the 'Tonight Show'... with Johnny Carson. So I believe in God, and I believe in the power of government to change people’s lives,” he said.
Tingle, who also did a stint as a commentator on “60 Minutes II,” has the advantage of some name recognition as was evident at a meet and greet at a Somerville T station.
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He’s still known for the theater he operated in Davis Square where Mayor Joe Curtatone says Tingle is much more than a comedian.
"He was a businessman in the city, he used to run a business, and also a classmate of mine at the Harvard Kennedy school,” Mayor Curtatone said.
Tingle graduated with a Masters from Harvard in 2010 where he brought the house down with his commencement speech.
There are a lot of laughs surrounding Tingle, but when talking politics, he’s quite serious.
“We need better investment in public transportation, public education, just our entire public infrastructure,” he said.
Tingle’s primary opponent, Quentin Palfrey, served in the Obama administration and won the party endorsement in June. But Tingle thinks his ability to connect with everyday people will help him win on Nov. 4.