Yes, there is a Mass GOP (for those who might think otherwise) - Logo from newtonrepublicans.org
There has been some disconnect between the Mass State GOP and certain factions within the Massachusetts Republican Party – in brief, there are those that are moderates framing the majority of the leadership, and those that are both fiscally and socially conservative. The later would encompass Tea Part Groups, the Mass. Assembly, and the Mass. Fiscal Alliance. Those to the right of moderate take an all or nothing position on social issues encompassing the Right to Life movement and the issue of Gay Marriage. The general consensus of supporting a candidate that is both pro-choice and pro-gay marriage sees these conservatives sit out an election, or work for local and state candidates that hold core beliefs. Then there are the moderates of the party, which is the majority of the State GOP Leadership. These are Republican’s that are more moderate on social issues, yet add balance when it comes to be fiscal conservatives. These are the Moderates, who are more electable (or thought to be) in Massachusetts.
The problem arises when there is a tight race between a Republican and a Democrat in Massachusetts, and the Republican runs to the left of the Democrat and/or tries to compete toe to toe on social issues – that candidate loses the right of the party. Therefore, the incoming Chair of the Mass. GOP must know how to include both sides of the party – both the cocktail set (what is seen as the leadership) and those who see themselves as in the trenches.
Together these two factions can do the impossible, elect a Republican to a Federal or State office. Should that not occur, then there will be loses. There is the manpower that comes with the ability to bring both sides to the table. Unfortunately, some in leadership roles tend to focus on the cash, and distance themselves from those on what is perceived as the “extreme right”. This is Massachusetts – where 51% of the registered voters are “unenrolled” or have no leaning towards one party or another. They are, for the most part, moderates – not taking a hard line one way or the other on social issues. There are also those who are disgusted with one party or the other, yet still tend to vote with either major party, unless there is an alternative.
The obvious frontrunner will be Kirsten Hughes who announced her candidacy for the Mass GOP Chair – she has been endorsed by Senator Scott Brown, and had been his campaign’s deputy finance director. (Boston Globe) The Boston Globe implies that the move by Brown to endorse Hughes , and promote her Chairmanship, gives him a cash advantage should he run for either a Senate Seat (Kerry) or the Governor’s office. Although one might look at Brown as the consummate politico, he is inclined to work towards both his own political future as well as the future of the GOP in Massachusetts, with a focus on bring more Republican’s into the fold and into elected office. One only has to go back to 2010 to know that he worked for his own interests as well as the interests of the State GOP. Ms. Hughes has an exemplary record with the State GOP in a short period of time, having worked in 2010 towards bringing more state seats to the GOP. To learn more about Kirstin Hughes visit www.hughesforchair.com.
For insight into the diversity of the Mass. GOP, visit Red Mass Group, for reaction on Ms.Hughes Letter of Candidacy.
To date there is one other single candidate that has announced, Richard Green, a member of the State Committee, who is also the founder of the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance.
Other candidates who have announced an intent to run for Chair are Rachel Kemp, a state committee member from Dorchester, announced her candidacy Thursday, as did ¬David D'Arcangelo, a Malden city councilor, and Dean ¬Cavaretta of Acton, who are running as a team, according to Brock Corderio a State Committee Member.
Smart money would be on Kirsten Hughes. She has the endorsement of Brown, she had successfully worked in increasing state elected officials in 2010, has the ability to be a prolific fundraiser (See Boston Globe article ”Scott Brown endorses campaign aide’s bid to run state Republican Party”) – the plus – she is a competent woman in the GOP camp. The State GOP election will be held in January of 2013 – date is TBA.