Monday, April 19, 2010

Mass. Democrats Should Take Nothing for Granted in 2010 Races.

Massachusetts ready to party like its 1984

Richard Neal,Massachusetts Hampden 2nd Congressional Representative is busy fundraising, for both his own Congressional race as well as the DCCC, in a twofold effort to keep his seat in Congress and garner support for his bid as Chair of the Ways and Means Committee. An article in Politico dubs Neal

“a Massachusetts Democrat viewed as the favorite of K Street lobbyists” and goes on to note: “As he does every two years, Congressman Neal is actively raising money for his reelection campaign. With two candidates seeking the Republican nomination in his district, he is not taking the general election for granted,”.

Neal, as well as other State and Congressional Representatives in the Bay State, may have cause for concern. At the Massachusetts GOP State Convention, this past Saturday, the energy was palpable. There are more Republicans running for both State and Congressional offices in Massachusetts than in any year in recent memory. Over 170 candidates are running for office, many against incumbents who have gone unchallenged for decades.

Neal, who faces two challengers in the 2nd Hampden, has cause for concern. Dr. Jay Fleitman a Republican who has been elected to serve on the School Committee as well as the Board of health in the heavily Democrat City Northampton. Jay Flietman entered the race prior to Scott Brown’s election, and has traveled the 2nd Hampden extensively. Tom Wesley, has a background in business, both with Fortune 500 companies as well as an entrepreneur.

Over in the 4th Congressional District, Barney Frank faces multiple challengers, Rachel Brown, a Democrat, with three Republican’s Earl Sholley, Sean Bielat and Keith Messina vying for the seat held by Frank. Bielat and Sholley, according to the FEC filing for the past quarter are the frontrunners; Beliat has a total of $81,135 reported, $30,000 of which is personal loans, with $50,135 in individual contributions. Sholley, has receipts of $49,994, $7,740 of which is personal loans, with $42,204 in individual contributions. Sholley has managed to invest early in advertising as well as a campaign kickoff in New Bedford, and has stated that he wants to run a virtually debt-free campaign. Both Beilat and Sholley were in attendance at the Mass GOP Convention in Worcester.

The 5th district sees incumbent Niki Tsongas, with a slew of contenders for her seat with Republican Jon Golnick leading the fundraising efforts against Tsongas’s Democrat Rival, Martin Meehan. The Massachusetts 6th district, not unlike the 5th, has multiple challengers to Incumbent John Tierney, with William Hudak, leading the pack with $348,331 in the 1st quarter, closing in on Tierney’s who has reported $368,000 plus.

The 10th District, where Delahunt has announced he will not run for reelection, has three challengers, one Democrat, William Keating, reporting $122,000 while the Republican frontrunner, Jeffry David Perry is outpacing Keating with $156,000 reported.

Although early filings give an indication of who is raising funds (with the obvious advantage in most cases to the entrenched incumbent), it is the test of the candidate to continue to bring in revenue in this tough economic climate, while meeting filing deadlines for signatures. The filing deadline for Signatures is May 28th, accoridng to the Massachusetts Secretary of States’ office. In 2008, Jim Ogonowski and Jeff Beatty ran against incumbent, Senator, John Kerry, Ogonowski was considered the frontrunner, but failed to collect the signatures necessary to place his name on the ballot, although he had raised over over $550,000.

In any event, if Republicans in any given district do face off it a primary, it will give the people of the district an opportunity to get to know the candidates a bit better. Some candidates have chosen the door to door approach, especially in the 4th district, where the Sholley Campaign has boots on the ground and in the Hampden 2nd, where Dr. Jay Fleitman has been touring the district non-stop. It is the candidates that, regardless of cash on hand, who ultimately connect with the voters, which will be the biggest challengers to incumbents this year. As to the many state races, word on the street is that it is enough to get one’s name on the ballot this year – (that may be taking it a bit too far), but the common misconception that Scott Brown’s election was some type of a “fluke” will be dispelled in November. One must remember that Brown’s fundraising did not take off until those outside the Commonwealth understood that the Bay State had had enough – when and if a pollster (other than internal, which are keeping many in the race who would otherwise be counted out, especially based on FEC filings and the local media) begins to look at the district races, the Hamden 2nd, the Massachusetts 4th, the Massachusetts 5th, the Massachusetts 6th and for now the Massachusetts 10th, and finds that the incumbent, or in the case of Delahunt’s district, the Democrat running, are not besting opponents by more than 20 points (at this early juncture), then those outside of the state will understand that Massachusetts is, indeed, the Miracle State for 2010.


Fuzzy Slippers said...

Great post and great links, but what about us down in District 3? McGovern has to go, and we could replace him if we only had a candidate to run against him. We went for Brown down here in every single precinct, so there's a good chance if someone would only step forward and run.

Tina Hemond said...

Hi Fuzzy, thank you for the incentive to go further, I have found a batch of candidates running in the 3rd as well as one candidate in the Hampden 1st, feel free to let me know of others. Understanding that Singatures must be filed and certified by May 28th (may want to check that date) with the MA secretary of State, we, as citizens of the Commonwealth, have an exceptional array of candidates to choose from!.

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