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June 14, 2005

Second Middlesex Senate race gets officially underway this Thursday; candidate questionnaires from Mackey and Jehlen now available online

This Thursday, June 16, the truly adventurous can attend not one but two campaign kickoff events for the Second Middlesex Senate seat vacated by the death of Charlie Shannon.  Rep. Pat Jehlen (D-Somerville) will be holding her event from 7-9 at Orleans Restaurant in Davis Square.  Meanwhile, ex-Rep. Joe Mackey will be holding his event from 7-11 at the Somerville City Club.

Mackey apparently has the backing of ex-Governor's Councillor and ex-Somerville Mayor Dorothy Kelly Gay, and Kelly Gay is already saying nasty things about Jehlen (like "she has not been able to deliver much to her constituents").  I'm sure there's substantial inside baseball going on here - anyone care to fill us non-Somervilleans in?

Meanwhile, Jehlen has been racking up the "progressive" endorsements like there's no tomorrow.  The full list is here; included are several pro-marriage organizations, NOW, a bunch of area unions, Robert Reich, and more than a dozen present and former state legislators.

And, if you don't feel like attending the kickoff parties (at which donations will no doubt be "gratefully accepted"), you can see Jehlen and Mackey at a forum sponsored by Progressive Democrats of Somerville tomorrow (Wednesday) at 7 pm at the Visiting Nurses Association Community Room, 259 Lowell St.  In order to participate in the forum, Jehlen and Mackey had to fill out this questionnaire.  Jehlen's answers are here, and Mackey's are here.  Based on a quick read, I see two notable differences: Jehlen favors instant runoff voting while Mackey does not, and Jehlen spoke pretty forcefully against the rules changes adopted at the Convention, while Mackey didn't discuss the issue.  Both responses are well worth reading - these are the first documents I've seen that give any sense of where any of these candidates stand on the issues.

UPDATE: The Somerville News reports that Governor's Councillor Michael J. Callahan formally announced his campaign for the Senate seat at the Good Time Emporium in Assembly Square earlier this week, and state auditor (and former pro boxer) Joe DeNucci was there to endorse him. 

FURTHER UPDATE (6/17): Following the above-described event (which I unfortunately was not able to attend), Progressive Democrats of Somerville has endorsed Pat Jehlen.

Posted by David at 05:09 PM in Massachusetts | Permalink


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My money is on Callahan or Paul Casey. Just by numbers. Jehlen may have strong strong base but can she growe it. With Mackey causing her problems Casey just has to get Winchester to come out for him and/or callahan gets Medford, plus he has constituents throughout district he can tap.

Posted by: The troll | Jun 15, 2005 9:37:03 AM

I recently saw Barrios speak at an event. he looked lost. A man not sure what office he wants to run for, or can run for.
stay tuned.

Posted by: The troll | Jun 15, 2005 10:07:38 AM

Interesting points. Mackey and Jehlen are clearly competing for the "progressive" vote, as well as the Somerville constituency. If they end up splitting those pots, with Callahan pulling some voters from Medford, you may well be right. Casey has alluded to the difficulty someone from Winchester faces in this race, but he will be helped if neither Jehlen nor Mackey quickly emerges as the "clear progressive choice."

Re Barrios: maybe there's still time for him to change his mind.

Posted by: David | Jun 15, 2005 10:19:58 AM

Callahan will pick up many somerville votes from old time conservative dems. Casey, if he can identify them and get them out, may pick up some somerville and medford dems as the alternative to 2 very liberal candidates and an old timer with little acomplishments but being a great dinner speaker.
Casey will have some other votes from medford too. Tough for Casey to do though. Besides, his rep district includes parts of woburn and stoneham, (i think) so i am not sure how many democratic votes he brings to the primary table from winchester. But they will be easier to get out to vote in primary, then somerville or medfford. Different constituency.

Barrios - he can't keep switching around. Doesn't look good for him.

Posted by: The troll | Jun 15, 2005 11:22:21 AM

If Barrios runs for congress my early money would be on Gene O'Flaherty, Charlestown rep., winning it in either a one on one or a crowded field.

Posted by: The troll | Jun 15, 2005 11:24:25 AM

The Kelly-Gay comments are just funny! She, as an incumbent Mayor, was ousted with just about 30% of the vote in the preliminary election in 2003... and she's critical of a woman (Pat Jehlen) who hasn't lost an election in her entire life. Some people just don't know when to quit!

And those who think the Progressive vote is going to be split aren't paying that close attention. Jehlen, it seems to me, has gotten EVERY progressive group on earth behind her, and Robert Reich and Carl Sciortino.... I think the progressives are pretty clear about who they're supporting

Posted by: Medford Dem | Jun 15, 2005 4:12:50 PM

You are right about progressive vote staying with jehlen, medforddem. Mackey has votes too but not the base Jehlen has. But you have to remmeber so many voters are under the radar.
As for kellky Gay there is nothing wrong with former masyor lending support to a candidate. Unfair attack meddem.

Posted by: The troll | Jun 16, 2005 9:12:02 AM

I'm sorry, there's a big difference between lending support and attacking. Kelly Gay wasn't quoted saying nice things about her candidate, she was making an attack on Jehlen, which makes it perfectly reasonable to question Kelly Gay's credibility.

In terms of the progressive vote, the PDS endorsement of Jehlen last night should put to rest any doubts about who the real progressive is in this race.

Posted by: common sense | Jun 16, 2005 10:52:47 AM

big deal..i'm a bigger progressive then you are..na nah nah nah
get real.
I thinbk you, common sense, represent the attitude which turns most voters off and thus Jehlen is dead in medford and winchester, and a good deal of somerville.
Bigger world out there then you think.
But the progressives are with her...YEAH!

Posted by: The troll | Jun 16, 2005 2:33:41 PM

Troll, I'm not following you. What attitude do I represent? You've made a pretty sweeping assessment based on three sentences.

Posted by: common sense | Jun 16, 2005 3:28:51 PM

Troll, you might not realize this, but Medford has a good deal of very progressive voters (Sciortino, my Rep, did really well here) and Winchester is even more liberal. In Somerville, which is the biggest part of the district, Jehlen is extremely well liked -- maybe not by the former mayor, but by the voters! And most of these groups (what is it, 20 now) are endorsing her because she's good on their issues AND they feel she's got the best chance of winning. And they've got thousands of members in the distict, including in Medford Winchester and Woburn. The way I look at it, I'm about to have Sciortino and Jehlen as my legislators. That's pretty cool!

Posted by: Medford Dem | Jun 16, 2005 5:30:03 PM

Calm down medforddem. Take a chill pill. There are more factions and voting blocks and incestual relationships in medford and somnerville then you think there are. We will wait and see. It is a horse race and I handicapped it. I am not always right. But there is conservatives and moderates in somerville and medford who do not like jehlen and there are progressives who oppose her strictly for political power and grudge reassons. Are these groups large enough to carry her.
Winchester will stick to winchester because they have differnt community and they are smart enough to know that a hometown bot will cover their special needs ass much better then a medford or somerville person. Casey will get many winchester progressives and he will get his woburn vote out.

I do realize what you said med dem. Medford also has many many old time and Italians and irish and their kids and grandkids. North Medford, West Medford, South Medford, are large areas. There is more to Medford then the Hillside area which is where Tufts is and very Progresssive.
Meford is a huge city and believe it or not many can relate better to Casey then to Jehlen.
You have to ask yourself how did Charlie Shannon continued to get elected. He was from Winchester.
And somerville also a has moderaste base like Medford that won't vote for Jehlen.
A can analyze Sciortinowinning in parts of South Medford. But won't (he worked his ass off, Ciampa was sleeping and from Somerville, and he was Italian)

Posted by: The troll | Jun 17, 2005 9:30:55 AM

To CommonSense: What is so bad about Kelly Gay's statements about Jehlen. Jehlen hasn't delivered for the district. That is a legitamate theme against an incumbant. Why is Kelly Gay bad for staying on message with a legitamate campaign point?
Other then the fact she attacks your candidate why does this make Kelly Gay a bad person?

Posted by: The troll | Jun 17, 2005 10:06:47 AM

Troll, you're playing the "it's ok to attack an incumbent, but it's not ok to question the attacker" game. I understand the attack and its nature - it is of course the easiest knock to hurl at an incumbent, I agree, and I'm not surprised by it. My point though, is that it is still perfectly reasonable to point out that the person making the attack was overwhemlingly voted out of office and therefore the question is, how much sway does she carry? I never said she was a bad person, nor would I. This isn't personal, and it's not about her character. But if she's going to attack a candidate I support, there is no reason why I can't point out that Kelly Gay isn't the most popular ex-mayor in the district, and that maybe, coming from her, the attack isn't as credible than if it came from someone with higher favorability in the district. Let's call it political tit for tat.

Hey, if John Kerry had bothered to question the credentials of the Swift Boats and shine a light on them and their agenda, he might be president. It's the nature of the beast.

Posted by: common sense | Jun 17, 2005 10:22:07 AM

From a forensic point of view is not a valid attack on her credibility as to her statement. The fact that she was mayor at a time when Jehlen was rep tells me she has personal knowledge of Jehlen's effectiveness.
Actually, now that I scroll back, I see medforddem took more of a personal attack. But this questioniong her credibility does not address the real issue. Did Jehlen deliver for her district? An urban district that relies heavily on state programs.

Posted by: The troll | Jun 17, 2005 10:28:01 AM

CommonSense, You do not "question the attacker"s game" in your response like you say you do

Posted by: The troll | Jun 17, 2005 10:29:24 AM

I just want to point out, regarding Troll's first comment in this thread, that Winchester accounts for 14% of the registered voters in this district, and Somerville is 42%. Winchester will affect this race, sure, but turning out Winchester is not going to win it for a candidate who doesn't also do very well in Somerville and Medford. "Casey just has to turn out Winchester" wouldn't be true even if the Somerville vote were evenly split - half of Somerville's voters is still nearly double all of Winchester's, in this district.

That's not to say Casey isn't a strong candidate. Of course he is, and he has a shot at winning this. But that shot is in Somerville and Medford, with a helping of Winchester. To beat Jehlen, he'd have to make significant inroads in her home territory.

Posted by: Cos | Jun 26, 2005 8:18:05 PM

[sorry for the belated comments, I was in Texas Jun 16-21]

Regarding Dorothy Kelly Gay's comments, that is a laugh. The voters in Jehlen's district have a very different view, and a lot of them have been eagerly volunteering to go canvassing in other parts of the district to tell their story. Pat Jehlen does deliver for her district.

Now, it's true that she hadn't gotten a lot of bills passed for a long time - until recently. The reason, of course, is that she voted against Tom Finneran for speaker, and he retaliated by removing her from her positions on committees. But we won that struggle - Finneral and his dictatorial style are gone. Now is Pat's time, and she's making good use of it. She's already gotten several bills passed in the new session, and is co-sponsoring several more that probably will. Mackey never had to serve under Finneran. Pat did, and she's one of the few who stood up well, stuck to her principles, and helped realign the House.

As I said, now that he's gone is her time to shine, and she deserves this promotion. And I think her target voters will enthusiastically agree.

Posted by: Cos | Jun 26, 2005 8:24:03 PM

im a 50 year resident of somerville.ive been involved in somerville politics for over 30 years.some of the campaigns ive worked on were louis ryan 70's marie howe's,mike capuano's,ted kennedy's & other somerville notables.im asking my friends throughout somerville & surrounding communities to vote for my friend joe mackey for state senator for the 2nd middlesex.let's get behind joe mackey & support him. thank you very much,jim p.s.i've worked on bill roche's & dennis sullivan's campaign's also.

Posted by: jim robertson | Jul 16, 2005 7:22:29 PM

The Boston Phoenix did a pretty good job laying out the race about two weeks ago. They pretty much said Jehlen has the progressive vote and if Mackey siphons off enough of it then Casey or Callahan will be able to slip through.

The strategic vote to ensure that the anti-choice, anti-gay marriage, Casey doesn't take this election is Jehlen.

(The URL for the article - http://www.bostonphoenix.com/boston/news_features/other_stories/multi-page/documents/04807064.asp )

Posted by: eury13 | Jul 18, 2005 8:25:12 PM

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