ELECTION 2016 : ENDORSEMENTS FOR STATE AND LOCAL OFFICE

whipps-lee-kickoff

^ center, next to Governor Baker, stands Susannah Whipps Lee, perhaps our favorite legislative endorsee.

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We haven’t followed local contests as closely as we should have because the national election has been so controversial and existential. That said, we do have recommendations for our readers to think about. So here goes :

Massachusetts Legislature :   We think it important for Governor Baker to have control of the state’s Republican party, including a solid contingent of pro-Baker legislators. As the small Massachusetts GOP plays a vital role in state political reform, by way of providing us with referee-style GOP Governors, all of us have a vital interest in seeing our GOP led by bipartisan-minded activists.

To that end, we endorse the following GOP legislators who are not running unopposed :

Jim Kelcourse of Amesbury-Newburyport.

Sheila Harrington of Groton-Pepperrell-Dunstable

Shawn Dooley of Norfolk-Wrentham-Plainville

Susannah Whipps Lee of Athol-Orange-Petersham-Phillipston-New Salem

Donald Wong of Saugus-Wakefield

Steve Howitt of the 4th Bristol District

Kate Campanale of Leicester and Worcester’s Wards 6, 8, and 10 (partial).

Jim Lyons of North Andover-Tweksbury

Two State Senators are on our list :

Richard Ross of the Norfolk, Bristol & Middlesex District. Ross voted YES on the “TransBill,” the only GOP State Senator to do so. That’s all you need to know. He must be re-elected.

Patrick O’Connor of the Norfolk & Plymouth District. O’Connor was elected to fill out an unexpired term and now seeks a full term. A rare union-friendly Republican, O’Connor is one of our state’s up and coming generation of “Rockefeller Republicans,” a revival much needed if we are to have a useful GOP going forward after Trump.

NOTE : the first four of our House endorsees voted YES on the “TransBill” that enacted full civil rights into law for transgender people. We consider Kelcourse, Harrington, Dooley, and Whipps Lee heroes (along with five other GOP House members who voted YES).

Of our other endorsees, it may surprise some to see Jim Lyons on the list, as he is a die hard opponent of the “TransBill.” Our support is based on two factors : first, Lyons is as dedicated a local issues legislator as any. Second, he never uses hate or demonization to advocate his views, a welcome attribute quite untypical of his side’s usual manner.

We also endorse some Democrats facing contests for legislative seats. Here is our list :

Michael Day of Stoneham and Winchester (incumbent) : his opponent has discredited herself thoroughly by approving one of the vilest, most inflammatory hate mailings this observer has ever seen. Day was endorsed by Bill Weld in 2014 when he first sought the seat vacated by now State senator Jason Lewis. day MUST be re-elected.

Ken Gordon of Bedford-Burlington (incumbent) : has been victimized by the same despicable mailing that was thrown at Michael Day.. He faces a GOP opponent and must be re-elected if only as a protest against inflammatory hate mailings.

Jack Lewis of Framingham and Ashland : this is an open seat occasioned by Tom Sannicandro deciding not to seek another term. Lewis’s Republican opponent has, according to our sources, run a lazy campaign. We dislike lazy campaigns. Politics is an intense profession and must be addressed intensely.

Joan Meschino of Hull : this too is an open seat occasioned by Garrett Bradley’s resignation. The 3rd Plymouth District also includes Hingham and Cohasset, and it should elect a Republican. Unfortunately the Republican who should have won it lost his primary by a few votes; the winner is a Trump enthusiast who, when I interviewed her, refused to commit to defending the “TransBill” against a repeal referendum that will be on the 2018 ballot.

Evandro Carvalho of the 5th Suffolk District (incumbent) : Carvalho faces opposition from a perennial candidate who did in fact once represent the district. We like his opponent, an early transgender politician, for her courage and visibility : but Carvalho has a much more masterful grasp of today’s other issues and is also Chairman of the Boston legislative delegation — an honor his mastery of the issues fully merits.

For State Senator : Jamie Eldridge of the Middlesex & Worcester District (incumbent) : Eldridge can be a pain in the ass, as he leans his progressivism heavily upon those he thinks are his opponents (even when they aren’t), but he faces two opponents, one of whom is “alt right” and despicably proud of it. That candidate must be shown the door loudly and clearly. We urge a vote for Eldridge.

There is one other contest that merits discussion, the open State Senate seat representing the Cape and Islands. Both candidates — Republican Anthony Schiavi of Harwich and Democrat Julian Cyr of Truro — have much to appreciate: Cyr for his social activism, Schiavi for his 30 years of service in the Air Force, where he reached the rank of General. Schiavi certainly has the gravitas and the respect from others that one applauds in a candidate, and increasing GOP numbers in the present 34 to 6 State Senate is much to be desired. Our concern, however, is with the TransBill. We want any open seat candidate, of either party, to support it, as does Governor Baker. On Schiavi’s website, however, we cannot f ind the matter mentioned, not even one word. Considering that the Cape and Islands communities include some of our state’s most significant LGBT towns, it is imperative that the District’s Senator be stalwart in support of full LGBT rights. Cyr supports them passionately.

We’d like to see Schiavi win; but until we know that he supports full LGBT civil rights, we withhold endorsing him.

Sheriff : Only one race has attracted our attention, that in Essex County. We personally know the Republican candidate, Anne Manning-Martin and — disclosure — actively support her. The Democratic candidate, Kevin Coppinger, enjoys strong support from his fellow Democrats, as does manning-martin from fellow Republicans. Both she and Coppinger have excellent qualifications to do the Sheriff job — Coppinger was Lynn’s police chief, Manning-Martin a Department of Corrections executive for her entire career. But manning-Martin also serves as  a Peabody City Councillor — former school committee member — and so has working knowledge of municipal finances as well as the impact upon communities of those who are released from House of Correction custody. She embraces criminal justice reform fully, an advanced position in today’s GOP. If only for that reason, as well as her wide knowledge of corrections issues, she is the better choice. We are proud to endorse her.

—- The Editors / Here and Sphere

Author: hereandsphere

Here and Sphere is an online journal of news, opinion, reviews, advice, & bits n' pieces of everything else - from HERE to SPHERE...... Co-founded by Michael Freedberg, a long-time Boston Phoenix journalist, and Heather Cornell, a South Coast Massachusetts columnist and editor.

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