Wed., Aug. 15, 2018, 10:44 a.m. -- updated Sat., Sept. 1, 2018, 5:45 p.m.
MA state primaries are coming up on Sept. 4, the day after Labor Day. My Democratic ballot has a number of contested races. I've done some research and want to share my endorsements in case that's helpful for you. You can see your own ballot by going to the Elections and Voting page and entering your address.
Overall, my guiding principle is: The federal government is a disaster; MA is one of the most progressive states; we owe it to our own people and the whole country to energetically push foward the most effective progressive policies we can. Yes, most of our curent politicians are fine, but we're Massa-freaking-chusetts! We can and must be better than "fine."
Governor: Gonzalez vs. Massie
I've been on Team Bob for months. His passionate progressive vision speaks to me, especially his understanding that climate change is a capital-C Crisis. Gonzalez seems more energetic and effective than I gave him credit for at the beginning, though. Either way, we need to take beating Baker seriously.
Endorsement: Massie, mildly
Lt. Governor: Palfrey vs. Tingle
Palfrey has the endorsement of both the MA Dems and an array of progressive groups (Indivisible chapters, Progressive MA, etc.). He has ample policy experience and lists inequality, education, and resisting the Trump agenda at the top of his priorities for MA. Tingle is...a funny guy, maybe? He has name recognition, but I see no evidence that he's accomplished anything political. And also, frankly, older white male comedians are not topping my list of people I want to give more political power. I'm not too familiar with Tingle's comedy specifically, but the community in general punches down more than I'd like, and nothing in his website makes me think he's done the work to understand this tendency and work against it.
Endorsement: Palfrey, strongly
Secretary of State: Galvin vs. Zakim
I've rethought my views on this one. On the one hand, Galvin has been in office for nearly 25 years. He presents as old-school MA politics, power-motivated and back-room deals, and how the hell do we still not have same-day registration or early voting in this state? Zakim is a 3-term Boston City Councilor with a strong civil rights record, and he's pushing Galvin on voter access. (The bridge, I learned, is named for his dad, head of the New England Anti-Defamation League until his death in 1999.) Zakim has energized the party and received their endorsement, which can't be easy for a new guy challenging such a longtime encumbent.
OTOH, Zakim's inexperienced in many areas of the Secretary of State's job responsibilities, he's running an unnecessarily negative campaign, and he comes off as kind of a "brocialist." Honestly, I wish we had a different choice.
Endorsement: Neither?I'll probably vote for Galvin, because I want someone who at least knows what they're doing. But I may decline to vote in this one at all.
Rep in Congress: Capuano vs. Pressley
This one is big news. Capuano is a good person and a good politician, and I've been proud to have him as my Rep. for the 17 years I've lived in his district. Ayanna Pressley is a superstar Boston City Councilor, and I'd also be proud to have her represent me. I'm making my decision on the principle that representation matters, and we need more women of color in office. Our MA delegation is all white and overwhelmingly male, and I'm not okay with that. However good Capuano is, his district is the one majority-minority district in MA (now that it's been redrawn) and it's our best shot, for now, at a Congressperson of color. (My original writing said "more smart, capable women of color," but I edited those adjectives out because don't fool yourself: no woman of color is getting elected in 2018 America who doesn't kick unbelievable ass. Twice as good to get half as far, etc.)
Endorsement: Pressley, strongly, though not because I dislike Capuano
District Attorney: Ryan vs. Patalano
Donna Patalano's website uses YouTube autoplay, so I want to vote against her for that reason... but I can't. She's great. The D.A. is a really important job if you care about criminal justice reform (and I hope you do, because our "criminal" "justice" "system" is a damn mess). I'm going to quote directly from Patalano's website because I think it's so important:
In Massachusetts today, black people are incarcerated at a rate eight times greater than white people. For Latinx people, the rate is five times greater. The impact on our communities is devastating. We must do better. The District Attorney has the sole authority to decide who is diverted, offered pleas, charged, indicted, or brought to trial -- unchecked by any other official. As your District Attorney, I will lead an office committed to equity, transparency, and accountability.Ryan is the incumbent, who also has a decent progressive record. I'm going back to my guiding principle here and endorsing Patalano's energetic push for changing a broken system, but I don't think a vote for Ryan is a terrible idea.
Endorsement: Patalano, mildly