When we head to the polls this coming Tuesday, April 30th, to choose our nominee in the upcoming special election to replace Sen. Kerry, I’ll be voting for state representative Dan Winslow. For me, America’s economic health over the short- and long-term should be our top priority, and I believe that Rep. Winslow’s staunch fiscal conservatism, especially his numerous suggestions for streamlining the overly complex US tax code, would greatly benefit the citizens of our commonwealth and our country.
Rep. Winslow has also demonstrated a remarkable creativity and innovation in attempting to find solutions to problems. Whether or not one agrees with all of his proposals, he nevertheless represents a welcome break from those (ahem, Congressman Markey) who merely spout tired talking points and offer stale ideas. As a Senator, Rep. Winslow’s contributions would, at the very least, provide valuable new ways of framing problems and move discussions in different directions.
Along the same lines, Rep. Winslow would be best positioned to win the battle of ideas with the Democratic nominee. In the debates among the three Republican contenders, Rep. Winslow has consistently been the clearest, most forceful, and most responsive of the candidates. Especially in this election, Rep. Winslow’s debating skill would prove advantageous in a race against either of the two Democrats, who have proven dull, ineffective, and uninspiring exponents of their views.
As a member of the state committee from one of the most urban districts in Massachusetts, I am also very impressed with Rep. Winslow’s understanding of the importance of education reform. His op-ed earlier this year, co-authored with Mattapan Democrat Russell Holmes, rightly advocates for wide-ranging reforms, including greater flexibility in hiring and firing teachers and the expansion of charter schools. I strongly believe that we as a party must pay much more attention to issues that matter to cities, that we will improve our political fortunes and our Commonwealth if we do, and that education is a natural issue with which to begin. You can read the joint op-ed here: http://b.globe.com/12yr0Y5
I certainly don’t agree with Rep. Winslow on everything. For one thing, he is well to my left on the issue of abortion; his general attitude toward social conservatives has occasionally been overly condescending, though not to the extent as has been alleged. I suspect, too, that I am somewhat more hawkish on defense and national security issues than Rep. Winslow is.
The other candidates, however, have significant flaws. I worry that Gabriel Gomez lacks the necessary experience and understanding of the realities of the political process, as shown in his comments and actions regarding his effort to get appointed by Gov. Patrick as our interim senator, and his — charitably speaking — unworkable plan to “reboot Congress.” Michael Sullivan’s campaign, on the other hand, has been underwhelming: to compete with the Democratic machine, a successful candidate would have to demonstrate a much stronger ability to raise money, pick and stay with a message, and do the day-to-day work of campaigning than he has thus far.
As Rep. Winslow has repeatedly pointed out, any of the GOP candidates would prove a significantly better senator than either Democrat, whose hypothetical voting records would likely be largely identical in support of higher taxes, increased wasteful spending, and other bad left-wing ideas. Regardless of who comes out on top next week, we must all unite in support of our party’s nominee and work together to elect a Republican senator on June 25th. I very much hope that Rep. Winslow will be that nominee.
The writer is the state committeeman for the Middlesex and Suffolk District.