Although there are the congressional races, a Governor’s position and a Senate seat up for grabs this year, the fields have been set in all but the 9th Congressional District and the Governor’s race on the GOP side. This is a very blue state, but there exists a real opportunity here to at least take the Governor’s mansion this year.
In that race, Tea Party activist Mark Fisher faces a tough road against the ably financed Charlie Baker. At the Party convention, Baker easily made the ballot, but Fisher failed to reach the threshold percentage of votes which prompted a lawsuit and back-and-forth allegations of bribes and pay offs between Fisher and the Massachusetts Republican Party. Regardless, the GOP relented and allowed Fisher onto the primary ballot.
In reality, there is virtually no chance Fisher will prevail. In 2010, in an era of voter discontent and low approval ratings, Deval Patrick nevertheless defeated Baker by six percentage points. Baker will not please the staunch conservative. He describes himself as fiscally conservative and socially liberal supporting gay marriage and abortion rights. In short, he is the best the GOP can do in Massachusetts. If based on ideology alone, I would go with Fisher. If based on electability alone, I would go with Baker. However, given Baker’s pandering to the LGBT and NARAL crowd, some things are just more important at times in making these decisions. Mark Fisher had to fight to get this far and that is where the “endorsement” lies.
If the GOP has any chance of picking up a Congressional seat in Massachusetts, it would be the Ninth District. Unfortunately, a Republican has not held this district since 1963- a long time. This year will be hard also.
There are four Republicans in the primary: Tea Party activist Mark Alliegro, ex-Reagan White House aid John Chapman, local politician Vincent Cogliano, and attorney Dan Shores. Quite frankly, thus far according to their websites the candidates are long on rhetoric and short on specifics, except in one case on one issue (Shores and health care). We know you area against Obamacare; what are you going to replace it with? We are all for a strong national defense; how are you going to get us there? We all now Social Security is going bankrupt; how are you going to make it solvent? And the list goes on. Simply saying you are not the incumbent Democrat William Keating is not enough. There is not enough anti-Obama sentiment in the 9th District to make this a winning strategy. Clear-cut solutions- not a listing of the problems- and how Obama policies affect or will affect the constituents of the 9th District coupled with local issues are what will define you.
One such local issue is the proposed wind farm off Cape Cod which is part of the 9th District. That is a local issue. Chapman mentions regulations that affect the fishing industry in the area, but then calls for federal financial assistance to help fishermen caught in the cross hairs of these regulations. In other words, he wants fishermen welfare. They both endorse an “all of the above” energy policy, but are silent on that proposed offshore wind farm.
It really does not matter in the end since the eventual winner is a long shot to unseat Keating unless pictures surface of Keating in Mexico with a donkey. Thus, only because he was associated with the Reagan White House as an aid in the Counsel’s Office, I am going with John Chapman.