GOP’s state Senate nominee is asking for an issues forum

Joseph Ureneck, the Dorchester resident who is the Republican nominee running against state Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry, a Democrat, for the First Suffolk District seat in the state Senate, is calling for a forum where he and his opponent can discuss the issues before election day on May 28.

The Dorcena Forry camp has not responded to Ureneck, who has said that a key aim of his is to “reduce government’s role” in people’s lives. For her part, Rep. Dorcena Forry has been clear about her main focus: “job creation and equity in the job market.”

Ureneck was unchallenged in the Republican primary, in which he picked up 829 votes out of 877 cast, less than a tenth of the votes Dorcena Forry received in her three-way primary against a fellow state representative and a South Boston entrepreneur.

Dorcena Forry, who is married to Reporter editor Bill Forry, won with 10,214 votes, or 47 percent. State Rep. Nick Collins, a South Boston Democrat, received 45 percent, while blogger Maureen Dahill grabbed 7.3 percent of the vote.

By any account, the Republican will likely have trouble getting traction in the First Suffolk District, which is dominated by Democrats. As their party’s nominee, Dorcena Forry is sure to get support from her fellow lawmakers – particularly those who stayed out of the race before the primary – and left-leaning organizations.

The district includes South Boston, most of Dorchester, Mattapan, and a portion of Hyde Park.
“Linda, she is a powerful draw,” said William Bulger, a South Boston Democrat who once held the seat for over two decades. “People like her when they meet her.”

Bulger, who also served as president of the University of Massachusetts until 2003, declined to say whom he had voted for in the primary. “Everyone analyzes it and speaks of the geography that has been altered,” he said, a reference to lawmakers redrawing the First Suffolk’s map during the redistricting process every ten years. “Its presence is smaller,” he said of South Boston.

Mayor Thomas Menino said Dorcena Forry’s win “proved it wasn’t a South Boston seat.” Menino did not formally endorse anybody in the Democratic primary but allowed some of his operatives to work for Dorcena Forry.

“I thought that Linda would do well in that campaign and she did,” he said on Tuesday. “And her base really turned out for her like it’s never turned out in the past. She worked hard for the job.”

– GINTAUTAS DUMCIUS