GOP’s Baker: Dot a ‘tougher sell’ than most places

Two of the five gubernatorial hopefuls gave Dorchester some love this week in the hopes its voters would return the sentiment in the fall.

Returning to Dorchester for the first time since the Dot Day Parade, Republican Charlie Baker knocked on doors and pressed palms with residents of St. Brendan’s Parish on Saturday. His visits have drawn positive comments from a number of the people, including Dorchester’s honorary mayor Erin Murphy, who tagged along with Baker and a handful of other Dot residents on Saturday.

Murphy said that although she is a Democrat, she is considering supporting Baker because the state needed to “shake things up a bit” after eight years under a Democratic governor. It’s this sort of rethinking that Baker hopes will happen, even in a deeply blue Dorchester.

“This is a very politically active community, turnout is always high here, 65, 75 percent,” he said to the Reporter. “So every opportunity if you can knock doors in places like this, you have a fairly high degree of confidence that if you find a supporter, they’re going to show up, which makes it an important place.”

Even if that place is Mayor Marty Walsh’s backyard.

“I think it’s important that you ask for everybody’s vote,” said Baker. “And why would somebody support you if you’re never in their town or you’re never in their community? So from my point of view, yes, this is probably a tougher sell than some other places, but like I said, it’s important to show up.”

That “sell” wasn’t so tough for the two dozen or so people Baker came across in the hour and a half after heading out from Belton Street. Those who were at home seemed genuinely interested in talking to the candidate, with a few even remembering him from the parade.

“I’m really excited about the way that people are responding to what we’re saying,”

said Baker. “It’s cutting across every sort of political demographic you can think of and we’re just going to keep at it for the next 45 and 100 days.”

Another candidate who will be keeping at is State Treasurer Steve Grossman, who will be coming by Dorchester tonight (July 31) for a fundraiser at the Philips Old Colony House hosted by City Councilor Matt O’Malley and the Pressmen’s Union.
Just down the ballot, in the lieutenant governor’s race, state Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry has delivered an endorsement to Mike Lake, a longtime friend, current Boston-based nonprofit CEO, and candidate for state auditor four years ago.

“I have known Mike for years and have witnessed his genuine capacity to bring people together, tackle difficult issues, and work towards a common goal,” Dorcena Forry said in a statement. “Mike is a passionate advocate who will fight for quality education, sustainable jobs and opportunity for everyone.” Lake faces Cambridge City Councilor Leland Cheung and longtime state Democratic figure Steve Kerrigan in the September primary.

Dorcena Forry, who is married to Reporter editor and publisher Bill Forry, has also given her official stamp of approval to state Rep. Dan Cullinane who is in a four-way primary re-election battle for the 12th Suffolk seat that Dorcena Forry held for just shy of a decade.

“I want to make sure the 12th Suffolk district is in good and capable hands, and with state Rep. Dan Cullinane, I know it is,” Dorcena Forry said in a statement. “He has proven by both his work ethic and his actions that he is committed to representing and strengthening every community in the district.”