Reporter's Notebook:Dot supporters give Warren style points
Beware of candidates bearing narratives.
Crafted by consultants and borne to voters by conservative talk radio and liberal-leaning blogs, campaign narratives are aimed at carrying their authors to campaign cash and, ultimately, victory at the polls.
That’s certainly the case with the U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts. Supporters of the two top candidates, Wrentham Republican incumbent Scott Brown and Cambridge Democrat Elizabeth Warren, have sought to portray them as underdogs despite the massive fundraising advantages each will enjoy during the race.
A WBUR/MassInc poll released Tuesday showed voters consider Brown, who won the 2010 special election to replace the late Edward Kennedy, and Warren, a Harvard law professor, as candidates willing to “stand up for regular people.” But both are wealthy by most any standard, with Warren earning over $500,000 last year, and Brown owning several properties, as noted by a WBUR report.
In the poll of 503 likely voters, 46 percent said they backed Warren while 43 percent said they supported Brown, figures that are within the margin of error.
Voters conceive their own narratives, of course. At a Saturday morning caucus meeting of Ward 15 Democrats on Meetinghouse Hill, some voiced their concern about how Warren can win over their more conservative brethren.
Ed Cook, a Warren supporter who is considered a political bellwether locally, said the candidate came across as too professorial at a January gathering of Dorchester Democrats at Florian Hall.
“She’s a brilliant woman,” he said. “We all admire her.” When Warren was talking about her middle class childhood, “I was moved,” Cook said. But when she started talking about issues, particularly economic ones, “She switched gears and became a college professor,” he said, with the talk rising to the 30,000-foot level and turning toward the wonky. “She has to come down to the Meetinghouse Hill level,” he said.
Former City Councillor Maureen Feeney, who attended the caucus, told the small crowd of activists that she agreed with Cook. “It’s that, ‘Don’t lecture me,’ ” Feeney said.
For her part, when asked about Cook’s comments at a meeting of Ward 16 Democrats a few days later, Warren said, “All I can tell you is that I’m not a professional politician. I’ve been a teacher all my life. And I’ll learn how to run for office. I’m doing my best. I hope I get better over time.”
Galvin write-in campaign for First Suffolk committeeman
Former District 3 City Council candidate Craig Galvin has launched a write-in campaign for First Suffolk Democratic committeeman. The post has been held for state Sen. Jack Hart, a South Boston Democrat who decided to relinquish the party slot.
Galvin said he is campaigning as a write-in for the seat, which will be featured on the March 6 presidential primary ballot, because a clerical error prevented his nomination signatures from being certified.
Galvin said he has the support of Dorchester’s State House delegation, including Hart, District 3 City Councillor Frank Baker, and state Reps. Marty Walsh, Linda Dorcena Forry, and Nick Collins.
Former District 3 City Councillor Feeney, now serving as the city clerk, is the First Suffolk Democratic committeewoman. Galvin was one of seven candidates who ran to replace Feeney in 2011 after she said she would not run for another term.
Candidates pull nomination papers
Nomination papers last week became available for the Democratic and Republican state primaries. Members of the heavily Democratic Dorchester delegation appear set to run for re-election.
State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, who represents the Second Suffolk District, pulled her papers, as did her First Suffolk District colleague, Sen. Hart, who has served since 2001.
In the House, Russell Holmes (Sixth Suffolk), Rep. Forry (Twelfth Suffolk) and Rep. Walsh (Thirteenth Suffolk) have all picked up their papers. Ditto for Fifth Suffolk District freshman state Rep. Carlos Henriquez and perennial candidate Althea Garrison.
Longtime incumbent state Rep. Gloria Fox (Seventh Suffolk) will likely face a challenge from local activist Jed Hresko.
A caveat: Pulling papers does not necessarily mean someone will launch a campaign.
The job of Suffolk County Register of Probate looks like it could be the subject of a contested race, with East Boston City Councillor Sal LaMattina and Patricia (Patty) Campatelli pulling papers as Democrats, and an independent, Steve A. Wise, also possibly joining the fray.
If LaMattina, who is popular with fellow elected officials in Suffolk County, wins, a special Council election will likely be scheduled, since city councillors are not up for reelection until fall 2013.
Over the weekend, at caucuses outside of his City Council district, City Council President Stephen Murphy introduced his City Council colleague. LaMattina’s district currently includes East Boston, Charlestown, and the North End.
Potential candidates for the Council seat could include Danny Ryan, who previously ran for the seat; former House aides Jason Aluia and Dan Toscano, and City Hall aides Ernani DeAraujo and Stephen Passacantilli.
The state primary is scheduled for Thurs., Sept. 6, though there has been chatter on Beacon Hill about changing the date since it conflicts with the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.
Along with state representative and state Senate races, the following positions will also be on the September ballot: U.S. Senate, U.S. House, Governor’s Council, county commission, and clerk of courts. May 1 is the deadline to submit signatures for certifications. Potential candidates must have 300 signatures for state Senate and 150 signatures for the House of Representatives.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Material from State House News Service was used in this report. Check out updates to Boston’s political scene at The Lit Drop, located at dotnews.com/litdrop. Email us at email@example.com and follow us on Twitter: @LitDrop and @gintautasd.