A former Lexington police officer, [Charles E. Shannon Jr.] was reelected without opposition last November to an eighth term. His district, the Second Middlesex, includes Medford, Winchester, and parts of Somerville and Woburn. In January, Senate President Robert E. Travaglini had named him chairman of the Committee on Ethics and Rules.
Among those mentioned by political observers as possible candidates on the Democratic side are former Somerville mayor Dorothy Kelly Gay; state Representatives Paul J. Donato of Medford and Paul C. Casey of Winchester; Sean J. Fitzgerald of Somerville, an aide to Shannon who served as Kelly Gay's spokesman when she was mayor; and Stanley Koty of Winchester, a former longtime chief of staff to Shannon who is now commissioner of the Department of Public Works in Somerville.
In 1989, Shannon surprised the political establishment, when as a little-known Republican running in a heavily Democratic Senate district, he unseated Salvatore Albano, a Democrat from Somerville. Shannon's only previous electoral experience had been successful runs for a seat on the Board of Assessors and for Town Meeting in Winchester. He served in both positions from 1987 to 1990.