Will Steve Lynch Buck the Party Central Committee?

Steve Lynch is in or out, Scott Brown is in or out …

TheKerrySeat is becoming the seat no one wants – no one but Ed Markey of course. The Malden Democrat is near to clearing the field with a little help from his friends in the Democratic establishment,  most especially the party check writers, aka the Central Committee of the Democratic Party – excuse me, I meant the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Diddy was right –“It’s all about the Benjamins” —  and damn this thing we call our sort-of democracy in Massachusetts.

Senate seats don’t come up very often and that restrains any ripple effect for ambitious candidates wishing to contest open seats for Congress, the state legislature, on down to local offices. So you would assume some ambitious pols would take a free shot at a special election. Think back a few weeks ago when the Boston Globe ran a big story on possible aspirants with pictures of the hopefuls running over the headline (the photographs displayed all the diversity of a 1950s smoker).  Since then a number of big name Democrats including Senator Kerry have come out for Markey

Perhaps most importantly, the DSCC held a primary of its own and Markey won. You might think that the special election primary is to be held in the spring, but you would be wrong. You never can tell what those crazy bastards in the electorate might do so it’s a lot safer for the candidate to be picked by the Central Committee. Ask state senator Ben Downing, who apparently was directed that no money would be forthcoming and so this would be a good juncture to spend some quality time with the family.

Our other ambitious Democratic congresspersons (except Steve Lynch, still deciding) also took note of the DSCC’s edict and the $3.1 million in Congressman Markey’s federal account and decided that perhaps a few more years in the House isn’t so bad after all.

Scott Brown may also be heeding the advice of my colleague Professor Duquette, who has been counseling the former senator that he has limited prospects for another upset.  Also the 2010 Scott Brown hurt the 2013 Scott Brown by awakening the Democrats to weaknesses that had remained hidden by their own dominance and the serial ineptitude of the state GOP, with a big assist from the noxious national Republican Party.

On the other hand the Central Committee’s coronation of Markey may mask different Democratic weaknesses which will become apparent down the road.

Ed Markey may yet face a primary opponent. But for the moment we’ve had our special election, and money won.





About Maurice T. Cunningham

Maurice T. Cunningham is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. He teaches courses in American government including Massachusetts Politics, The American Presidency, Catholics in Political Life, The Political Thought of Abraham Lincoln, American Political Thought, and Public Policy. His book Maximization, Whatever the Cost: Race, Redistricting and the Department of Justice examines the role of the DOJ in requiring states to maximize minority voting districts in the Nineties. He has published articles dealing with the role of the Catholic Church in Massachusetts politics and on party politics in the state. His research interests focus upon the changing political culture of Massachusetts.
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