, Salem, MA


March 28, 2014

Benton: GOP's greatest foes are Republicans

Democrats seeking to maintain their stranglehold on Massachusetts politics have a potent ally in the right wing of the Republican Party.

Given the state’s liberal bent, Republican candidates can be conservative on fiscal matters but must maintain a more moderate stance on social issues like abortion and marriage equality in order to succeed here. This is not Arizona or North Carolina, after all, where the wackier elements of the Grand Old Party can sometimes prevail even in general elections.

Two Republicans who can win in 2014 — Swampscott’s Charlie Baker and Wakefield’s Richard Tisei — face opposition within their own party that must delight the Democrats running for governor and incumbent U.S. Rep. John Tierney, D-Salem, respectively.

Baker won the overwhelming endorsement of the party’s convention in Boston last weekend. But his hopes of being able to conserve finances and energy before the September primary are now in jeopardy as a result of a legal challenge by an obscure tea partier who, according to the official tally, fell six votes short of gaining the 15 percent of delegates needed to compete for the GOP nomination.

Meanwhile, Tisei opted to stay away from that convention due to a plank in the official platform opposing gay marriage. The former legislator and candidate for lieutenant governor is gay and married. He said he didn’t need to be nominated and, thus, chose not to attend.

But he doesn’t begrudge Baker and others for participating, stating in a telephone interview this week: “Charlie is the best hope for the party, without a doubt.”

As for challenger Mark Fisher, the Shrewsbury businessman who is threatening to sue to win a place on the Republican gubernatorial ballot this fall, Tisei observed, “It wasn’t like they were neck-and-neck.” According to the results released by the Republican State Committee, Fisher received 374 votes to Baker’s 2,095.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament
Comments Tracker
Roll Call
Helium debate