P Minus 7 Days

The Massachusetts Democratic Primary is in a week; Tuesday, September 16th.  Here in the Two Nine we’ve got a four-way write-in/sticker campaign for Rachel Kaprielian’s old seat, as I’ve been discussing; Ed O’Reilly challenging Senator Kerry; and Waltham’s Jack Doyle, who doesn’t appear to have a website, and Watertown’s Tommy Walsh are challenging longtime Governor’s Councilor and Watertown Town Councilor Marilyn Petitto Devaney for the 3rd District Governor’s Council seat.  I’ve been following the State Rep. race much more closely than the others.

I’ve had a chance to read the TAB’s interviews with the four State Rep. candidates (I didn’t find the video of the interview with Julia Fahey before; turns out it was posted in the blog, but left out of the main TAB site’s article), and last night a two-hour candidate forum was held here in H2Otown.  Unlike the previous Cambridge candidate forum, this one (which was also better-attended, probably because it’s closer to the actual polling day) was mainly driven by audience questions, and that plus its greater length helped really draw out the distinctions among the candidates’ positions (minor though those differences tend to be) and their personalities.

I like Jon Hecht, Julia Fahey and Josh Weisbuch pretty well.  Steve Corbett seems a nice enough guy in general, but doesn’t really excite me as a candidate, and threw a couple of what sounded to me like nasty barbs at Fahey and Weisbuch into his opening and closing statements — swipes at “special interests” and emphasis on being “ready on day one,” which is a little odd coming from a guy who said in his TAB interview that he’s looking forward to the challenge of learning the job of State Rep.  I’m sticking by my earlier prediction that Hecht will win, as much on better organization as anything else — and there’s something to be said for organizational skills as a desirable quality in a legislator.  I admire Fahey’s dedication to the labor movement, though I disagree with her (and agree with Hecht) on casinos.  But there’s really nothing I disagree with Hecht on, and I think, controversies with the Town Council President notwithstanding, that his record tends to indicate he’ll be very effective.  Gender balance is also a concern, however; women are not proportionally represented in the State House, and a Hecht win will mean one less seat held by a woman (there is no Republican challenger for this seat).  Obviously I wouldn’t make that my only reason for voting for Fahey, but I do also expect she’d be a good Representative.

I’m not in the endorsement business, because I’m not really convinced of the value of endorsements, and anyway who cares what I say?  (My track record also isn’t great; I backed Dean in 2004 and Edwards this year, and really thought Romney would win the Republican nomination.)  So that’s probably my last word on this election for the next week: I predict Hecht will win, but I think either he or Fahey would be excellent.

Soon, back to non-state-government topics for a while.

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