Former Gov. Jane Swift: 'Mass. has lost a great citizen and statesman'

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June 13, 2013, 2:31 pm
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(NECN/AP) Massachusetts political figures of both parties have gathered at the Statehouse to pay tribute to former Gov. Paul Cellucci in the building where he served nearly a quarter of a century in public life.
    
Former Gov. Jane Swift, who was chosen by Cellucci to serve as the state's first female lieutenant governor, became emotional at times during her remembrance of the man she said "gave me the opportunity of a lifetime to govern the commonwealth he loved."
   
Swift says Cellucci had a remarkable career as a public servant that took him onto the global stage. She recalled that he was a public servant first and a politician second.
    
"Paul proved that in the blood sport of Massachusetts politics, you can be a truly good and decent person and succeed at the highest level," Swift said.

Swift said that Cellucci worked to provide more funding for the homeless and that his work on domestic violence "saved lives, plain and simple."
   
“Massachusetts has lost a great citizen and statesman but his enormous contributions have changed our Commonwealth forever and will endure,” Swift said.

Cellucci died Saturday at his home in Hudson from complications of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
    
Cellucci's body will lie in repose in the Hall of Flags.
    
A funeral mass is planned for Friday.

Watch the attached video to hear more from Swift as she remembers Cellucci.

(Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.)

Tags: massachusetts, memorial service, Paul Cellucci, house chamber, jane swift
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