( – promoted by Rob “EaBo Clipper” Eno)
Tuesday’s results were not perfect for Massachusetts Republicans by any means. After all, Republicans did lose all of the statewide races, all the federal races, and even one seat in their already pathetically small State Senate caucus. However, the results in the county races, and in the State House races should give Massachusetts Republicans some cause for optimism. After all, the GOP picked up 15-16 seats (Depending on a recount between Alicea and Durant) in the State House, two Governor’s Council districts, a Plymouth County Commissioner’s seat, and the Worcester County Sheriff’s office.
While the lion’s share of the credit is to due to the individual candidates, their families and supporters, there is something to be said of the growing Massachusetts Republican farm team, and the encouragement by the MassGOP to get first-time candidates to run again.
In fact, in Tuesday’s gains, its clear that second-try candidates led the triumphs of the night.
George Ross (2008)
Steven Levy (2008 State Senate)
Marc Lombardo (2004)
David Vieira (2000)
Steven Howitt (2004, 2006)
Nicholas Boldyga (2008)
Kevin Kuros (2008)
That’s right, nearly half (7/16) of all the successful GOP pick-up’s in the House were from second-time candidates. Of the other nine, most had some prior experience running for a municipality office, showing that campaign and political experience is most important in buidling success in future campaigns.
We shouldn’t give up because in higher offices are efforts were thwarted. We should learn from our successes on the local and State House levels, and the successes of Democrats in their State Senate and Congressional victories.
Republicans that fared well in local and State House races were former municipality leaders, and thus prior campaigners, giving them have a big boost in their smaller districts. While there were plenty of experienced municipal leaders running for the State Senate (Derek Masky, Jim Crocker, Tom Keyes, Craig Spadafora, Stephen Cole, David Pottier, Robert Magovern), its clear by Democratic wins that experience in prior State Legislative wins was more important. The Democrats relied on either HUGE amounts of cash (Dan Wolf, CEO of Cape Air), or State Representatives (Barry Finegold, Katherine Clark, Michael Rush, Micheal Rodrigues, James Welch) to plug up their most vulnerable State Senate seats. In the Congressional races, the only Republican candidate with prior elective experience was State Rep. Jeff Perry running in the 10th. And we all know how worked up Perry managed to get the Democrats, it was only with Perry’s personal flaws and MILLIONS of outside cash that they could defeat Perry with yet another seasoned Democratic candidate, Bill Keating (a Norfolk County DA and Former State Senator).
That’s why going forward, the GOP needs to utilize their successful strategy in State House races, and adapt it into the form of the Democratic strategy of the “Ladders of Office”. Municipality Leaders -> State House -> State Senate -> US Congress.
Don’t believe me, ask US Senator Scott Brown.
And more importantly, we need our defeated first-time candidates with their months of gained experienced to try again:
James Crocker recieved 43% in the Cape & Islands Senate District, not a horrible result at all. He won his home town of Barnstable 53-47%. He was outspent $261k to $63k. (He still raised $67k!!!)
Jamison Tomasek won Dracut and Tewksbury, and lost Andover by a hair due to an Independent candidate in route to a 9-point less against well-known State Rep. Barry Finegold.
Craig Spadafora lost Richie Tisei’s seat 52-48, despite winning three out of the six towns in his district against Melrose’s Katherine Clark.
Thomas Keyes lost a nail-biter to Sen. Therese Murray and her $ 52-48, despite winning 4 of the district’s 8 town, and losing another 2 by about a hundred votes each.
Kimberely Roy lost an unexpectedly close races to Sen. Richard Moore 54-46, after getting on the ballot with stickers and campaigning for just six weeks.
Robert Finneran lost an unexpectedly close race to State Rep. Harriet Stanley 52-48, winning three of the seven towns in the district.
Daniel Bennett nearly toppled long time hack State Rep. Theodore Speliotis 51-49.
Kevin Begley won North Andover by a comfortable 500 votes over David Torrisi. Lawrence brougt Torrissi up to a 53-47 win, but with redistricting looming, and Lawrence’s population needed to prop up the slow growing district of Marco Dever’s, this district, and the 2012 race could be much closer.
Marie Angelides yet another newcomer to politics, lost a heartbreaker to ultimate hack Rep. Brian Ashe 51-49.
David Lucas lost 52-48 against Paul Brodeur. Melrose broke big for the Democrats, but Conservative Wakefield backed Lucas by a solid margin.
Jim Stanton may already be running again, having lost 54-46 against corrupt hack Rep. John Rogers. Stanton won Walpole, Rogers won Norwood.
Korey Welch a newcomer to politics lost this McCain-won district 53-47 against the widow of the former Rep. Robert Nyman. With the sympathy vote gone, and this district’s Republican lean, Welch could easily win this on another go around.
Joseph Truschelli another new comer to politics lost this battleground district 55-45 with two of this district’s towns, and nearly another three. Redistricting will definetly affect this chopped up monstrosity of Plymouth County, and could easily make his campaign much easier next time around.
Additionally, we should look towards successful candidates in the State House and State Senate as being the recuits for important races in the State Senate and US Congress.
Karyn Polito, just lost a stunning defeat to Democratic Nerd Steve Grossman. Her State Senate district is represented by Union Hack State Sen. Moore, but gave Brown a comfortable 58-40 win.
Frank Cousins, the epitome of an Essex County Republican and County Sheriff (who just won with 64% of the vote) lives in the district of embattled US Rep. John Tierney. How about it anyone?
Robert Hedlund probably gave up a US House seat to the Democrats. Time to get it back?
Jeff Perry won all but Falmouth in the 8 town district of Therese Murray. If Keyes won’t do it, Perry should take a page out of Jeb Bradley’s playbook….
And finally, Sean Bielat needs to move to somewhere like… Franklin, or Walpole, or Norton, where his political skill and general affability will no longer be ignored by his Brookline and Newton neighbors.