Rep. Carvalho, barely settled, ‘hungry as I’ve ever been’

Rep. Evandro CarvalhoRep. Evandro CarvalhoIt has been a busy year for state Rep. Evandro Carvalho. Even though the Legislature is closed for formal business until January, he has no plans to slow down, and not just because he’s up for re-election.

“I’ve been in re-election mode since day one,” said Carvalho in an interview with the Reporter. He won a five-way special Democratic primary on April 1 and was unchallenged in the April 29 final election for the 5th Suffolk seat that was left open after the ouster of former Rep. Carlos Henriquez.

Since his swearing-in on May 14, the Cape Verdean native and former Suffolk County assistant DA has kept a low profile on Beacon Hill, getting used to the ins and outs of the new position.

When asked if he has been in touch with Henriquez, whose convictions on assault and battery charges led to his ouster by his House colleagues, Carvalho said no, adding, “I’ve been focusing on my job as an elected official.”

Part of that job has involved campaigning “every day,” said Carvalho, who referenced a tight-knit network led by his mother and based out of his Corwin Street garage. “It’s a campaign based on family and friends,” he said. He credits half of the votes he received in the primary to his mother, a longtime union organizer. “It’s all about ground work, IDing voters, and turning them out to the polls. Real basic.”

Carvalho faces perennial candidate Althea Garrison in September, with the winner facing off in November against Republican Claudette N. Joseph. Garrison, who could not be reached for comment, launched a write-in campaign in the special primary and received 39 votes.
Using the same grassroots tools that brought him his first victory in a district that includes parts of Dorchester and Roxbury, Carvalho hopes to double his April 1 turnout, “or more,” in next month’s primary. He won the April 1 election by piling up 961 votes, or 49 percent of the total, according to the Boston Elections Department.

“I’m just as hungry as I’ve ever been,” Carvalho said. “There’s so much I can accomplish, and to have that taken away would be devastating.”

There will, however, be a brief pause in the campaigning this coming weekend: Carvalho and his longtime girl friend, Ashley Lawson, will be married on Saturday in a small ceremony on Plum Island with Rev. Richard “Doc” Conway of St. Peter’s parish officiating. The couple met while attending Howard University School of Law. The honeymoon? That will wait until after Nov. 4.
State Treasurer and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Grossman swapped handshakes for campaign donations at a Pressmen’s Association fundraiser on Morrissey Boulevard last week. “It’s extremely rare for Local 3 to put together an event like this,” Stephen T. Sullivan, Pressmen’s Union Local 3 president, told a gathering of some 25 people at Phillips Old Colony House on Thursday. “Political seasons come and go, politicians make promises, labor unions make endorsements, and life continues. But this time it’s different.”

The union unanimously endorsed Grossman, who, as head of Grossman Marketing Group, was at times at odds with union bosses. In his remarks, Grossman recounted ironing out a labor dispute during the 2008 recession when profits had tanked and jobs were on the line. Instead of eliminating positions, employees and management agreed to four-day work weeks, successfully preventing layoffs.

“Steve and his family provide quality jobs and a liveable wage, doing more than their part to shore up the backbone of the middle class over generations here in Massachusetts,” Sullivan said. “Take a lesson, corporate America, because it is possible.”

Boston City Councilor Matt O’Malley was on hand for the occasion, telling the Reporter he would “walk through fire” for Grossman.
O’Malley worked as an organizer for Grossman’s 2010 treasurer campaign before leaving to run successfully for City Council. “It’s going to be a tight race,” O’Malley told the crowd, “but he’s going to win in September, and again in November.”

Perennial candidate and minister Roy Owens has moved aggressively against state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, citing her “racial and anti-religious views” in a double-sided flier distributed to church-goers last weekend, according to Adam Gaffin at Universal Hub.
Owens is challenging Chang-Diaz in the Sept. 9 Democratic primary in the 2nd Suffolk Senate district, which covers parts of the South End, Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, Dorchester, and Hyde Park.

Drawing comparisons to show that he is a “very good” candidate and Chang-Diaz is a “very bad” candidate, Owens blasts Chang-Diaz’s support for same-sex marriage, which “causes death, disease, and destroy[s] our voting power (very bad),” and whose supporters include “popular lesbian superstar Lady Gaga.”

In talking to the Reporter, Owens said he stands behind what he said in the flier, insisting that everything could be backed up on the Internet, including that Chang Diaz “support[s] discrimination against African American[s] and people of faith. Requiring religious organization to pay for abortion and other satanic rituals (very bad).” Owens did not say where he found that information.

The other side of the flier, which is peppered with spelling errors, blasts the “evil” and “Communist” Open Streets/Open World street festival scheduled for Sun., Sept. 8. The event will cause the shutdown of a section of Blue Hill Avenue where Owens’s church is located, forcing congregants to pay for public transit, walk, rent bicycles, “skating board or other forms of secular activities” to attend the church service.

Chang-Diaz’s office declined to comment on what Owens has been saying.