New GOP committeewoman from Dot to put focus on Black, Brown communities

Elizabeth Hinds-Ferrick

As a Black woman from Fields Corner, Elizabeth Hinds-Ferrick may not be the typical champion of the Republican Party, but if her instincts are correct, the new state committeewoman will soon draw more and more of her neighbors to the GOP.

She threw her hat into the political ring for the first time on Super Tuesday and came out the winner of the Republican State Committee seat for District 1 (Back Bay, Chinatown, Dorchester, Mattapan, South Boston, and the South End) pledging as a woman of color to grow the party by drawing in more diverse people from the community.

“I’m very fiscally conservative and believe everyone should have a voice,” the 40-plus-year Dorchester resident said in a recent interview. “I’m not rigid or crazy and I’m not a RINO (Republican in Name Only). I like what’s best for the party and I’m looking to grow the party. One thing I want to do is start building a coalition of Black and Brown people and a coalition of Asian people, all from this community. I’m the only Black person on the committee, but I feel at home wherever I’ve been, and I’ve never felt out of place. I show up. That’s me.”

Hinds-Ferrick, 60, of Topliff Street, won with nearly 60 percent of the vote over a candidate whose Nazi views were denounced across the board. She ran on a dual ticket with “teammate” Tim Smythe, the party’s state committeeman in District 1.

She isn’t a life-long member of the GOP. In fact, she said, she switched her party affiliation almost 15 years ago as she became more fiscally conservative. She had never been recruited to run for an elected position until this year as the party’s state leadership changed.

“I used to be a Democrat until I started looking carefully at what was going on, and around 2010 or 2012, I really didn’t like what was going on,” she said. “I saw wasted spending and not helping people be accountable. Instead of a helping hand, they were giving too many handouts. People were not learning to be self-sufficient. I felt like the Republican Party wasn’t doing that but was giving people hope.”

One of seven siblings, Hinds-Ferrick came to the United States with her family from Guyana (South America) more than 40 years ago and has worked for the state Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) for more than 36 years. She is now the assistant director of the Nubian Square DTA office.

She graduated from Suffolk University after which she attained two master’s degrees (Suffolk University, Tufts University) and graduated from a doctoral program at Northeastern University in 2021 focused on law and public policy.

She and her husband, John Ferrick, were married in 1986, and raised three sons (Johnathan, Matthew, and Shane) in Fields Corner – sending them all to high school and college. All are adults and successful now, she said.

She got “heavily invested” in the community as she and her husband assumed leadership roles at St. Peter’s Church on Bowdoin Street, while she became a very involved member of Prince Hall Masonic Lodge and many other Masonic orders and her sons played “about every sport there was to play” when they were growing up, from Dorchester Youth Hockey to Savin Hill Baseball to Dorchester Eagles football.

“We’re very invested here and a really big Dorchester family,” she said.

She added that being on the committee ballot was humbling and that running for a Republican seat has been interesting given that most of her friends are Democrats.

“I’ve never espoused my views on people but I’m secure in myself,” she said in noting that some of those friends “switched to Independent so they could get a Republican ballot and support me.”

It’s that kind of energy that she intends to harness for the Republican Party in the city, where for a long time it hasn’t had much of a foothold. She said she and Smythe plan to start with listening sessions at organizations in Black and Brown communities, hearing what they have to say and letting folks know their rights.

Before that, though, she hopes to attend the Republican National Convention this summer in Minneapolis. “At this point, I don’t have a presidential candidate I’m supporting,” she said. “I’m keeping my options open, but I will support whomever the party supports.”

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