SPRINGFIELD, Mass. ( Associated Press) — Massachusetts Republicans are holding their state party convention Saturday as they grapple with how far they should go deep blue.
Members of the state GOP were gathering in Springfield to hear from candidates and party leaders ahead of this autumn’s elections as they hope to rebuild a bloc that has lost nearly all levers of political power in the state.
The top job for Republicans hangs in the governor’s office.
Governor Charlie Baker, who has been popular with voters in his two terms in office in the corner, has decided not to seek a third, four-year term. Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karen Polito are the only statewide Republican officeholders in Massachusetts.
Neither planned to attend Saturday’s convention, reflecting a rift between him and former state representative James Lyons, the state’s GOP chairman, a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump.
Former GOP state representative Geoff Diehl and Wrentham business owner Chris Doughty are both vying for a chance to replace Baker.
Diehl is backed by Trump, who backed his candidacy in October, describing him as strong on crime, electoral integrity, the Southern Frontier and veterans’ care.
Diehl was the Republican nominee for the US Senate in 2018 and lost to Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren. He also served as co-chair of Trump’s Massachusetts 2016 presidential campaign.
Doughty cites his success in creating jobs as president of a metal machine parts maker.
It has said it wants to protect businesses, recruit high-paying jobs in the state, make Massachusetts an educational leader from early education through college and trade schools, and make the state more affordable. wants.
The first hurdle facing both candidates at Saturday’s convention is to get the support of at least 15% of delegates – the threshold required to ensure that their names appear on the September 6 primary ballot.
Following a Republican tradition in Massachusetts politics, both candidates named their favorite running mate – although the lieutenant governor and gubernatorial candidates were primarily separate and only ran as tickets in the November 8 general election. Huh.
Diehl is teaming up with former Republican State Rep. Leah Allen Cole, while Doughty is hoping for the ticket with former State Rep. Kate Campanale.
Shiva Ayyadurai, who lost the Republican primary bid for the US Senate in 2020, has also said that he is running for governor.
Whoever wins will face the winner of the Democratic primary for governor, a race that includes Attorney General Maura Healy and State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz.
There is little Republican primary drama in other statewide races.
Randolph resident Rayla Campbell and Republican who has worked in insurance and claims management are running for secretary of state. Republican Jay McMahon, a trial attorney and lifelong Cape Cod resident, is running for attorney general, a job he ran for and lost to Healy in 2018.
Anthony Amore, security chief at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, is running for state auditor. Amore ran for secretary of state in 2018 and lost.