If the Republican Party’s performance locally Tuesday is any indication, the GOP is in danger of becoming a fringe party itself. U.S. Sen. Scott Brown’s loss to Elizabeth Warren means that come January, the top-ranking Republican elected official in the state will be Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr of Gloucester.
Democrats picked up three seats in the state House, where they will have a 130-30 advantage come January. Locally, only Danvers Selectman Dan Bennett put up a creditable challenge to an entrenched Democrat, running against longtime incumbent state Rep. Ted Speliotis of Danvers in the 13th Essex District.
In the state Senate, Democrats held on to their 36-4 edge and missed an opportunity to at least make a credible showing in the race to replace retiring Senate Majority Leader Fred Berry of Peabody. Democrat Joan Lovely’s Republican opponent in the race, Richard Jolitz, was essentially a no-show who didn’t campaign, debate or share policy statements.
It is an all-too-common refrain, but it remains true: If the GOP expects to have success at the statewide level, there needs to be a consistent effort made locally. Running the occasional candidate isn’t going to cut it.