The Patriot Ledger is reporting that State Representative Daniel Webster is going to get a challenger in the GOP Primary in September. The challenger is Karen Barry, a Republican from Duxbury, who is both the daughter of Fmr. State Rep Charles Mann (R-Hanson) and Dan Webster’s former campaign manager. It appears she is trying to replace Webster before his legal issues eventually cost him, and the district its Republican Representative. Running as a write-in against someone whose name is already on the ballot generally doesn’t work very well, but it has been done before. (See Lisa Murkowksi)
I hadn’t heard of Webster’s ethical and legal problems before, but I’m concerned about this race now. Webster has had a bunch of close calls in the past, and he does have a Democratic challenger in his 2010 opponent Josh Culter (D-Duxbury).
Webster won his first race in 2002 by a healthy 54-46%. He was unopposed in 2004, before winning narrowly in 2006, 51-49%, in what was a tough year for Mass Republicans. He was again unopposed in 2008, but won in 2010 against Culter by a scant 51-49% margin again. This is all in a district that consistently has elected Republicans to the State House for decades, voted for John McCain over Barack Obama 49-49%, and gave Brown and Baker 67% and 55% respectively.
What should Republicans in the 6th Plymouth do on primary day September 6th? Is it time for Webster to move on and back someone else, or can Webster hold on again?