I hardly know where to begin this week!
Well, a coin toss decided I should start with the news that Republican Thomas F. Keyes of Sandwich has taken what I’d consider a very bold move and announced he plans to run for State Senator of the Plymouth and Barnstable district – which could put him on the ballot against Senate President Therese M. Murray (D – Plymouth).
Why is this a bold move? Consider, first of all, that Sen. Murray is one of the three top dogs in state government, and while I hate to invoke the whole “clout” issue, let’s be realistic: it would be bad for the Cape to lose that kind of leverage in the Senate.
Sen. Murray has also personally spearheaded two major government reform initiatives over the past four years, one aimed at health care and the other, launched last week, at economic development. To really put that one in perspective: Sen. Murray’s “Sunshine Act” legislation seeks to, in one fell swoop, reduce wasteful government practices and improve economic development efforts, two of this year’s hot talking points.
Then there’s the money. Sen. Murray ended 2009 with more than $140,000 sitting in the war chest, and she knows how to generate campaign funding. Gripe as you will about money in politics, it’s a harsh reality Mr. Keyes would have to face should he join Sen. Murray on the ballot in November.
What does Mr. Keyes bring to the table? He is a former two-term Sandwich selectman, a former member of the Sandwich Economic Development Council, and is in the middle of his first elected term on the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates (he is currently the deputy speaker).
That’s a thin résumé to put up next to Sen. Murray’s curriculum vitae, and I don’t care what the mood of the electorate is, you can only play the “government outsider” card to limited effect against such a strong incumbent candidate.
Is this an insurmountable challenge? No. Is it an uphill battle? Oh, yeah…call it a direct assault on the sheer vertical face of Mount Murray.
Ah, but there is one thing that could yet radically chance the complexion of this brewing race, which leads me to the next big news…
…which is the growing speculation that Congressman William D. Delahunt (D) is not going to run for re-election this year. The Boston Globe reported last week that Rep. Delahunt is considering retiring from life as an elected official, but the congressman said this was all part of his biennial deliberations over whether to run again.
“Every election cycle, I take my time, I think it through, and I think, not about whether I can win or lose, but: ‘Am I in a position to make a difference?’ ”Rep. Delahunt told the Globe. “Can I achieve what I want to achieve outside of public life?” He insisted that his decision would not be influenced one way or the other by US Senator Scott P. Brown’s victory last month, which continues to reverberate throughout the Massachusetts political scene.
A formal announcement is coming next month, and two big names have already emerged as possible torchbearers for the Democratic Party should Rep. Delahunt bow out: Conan O’Brien look-alike Joseph P. Kennedy III…
…and — wait for it — Sen. Murray.
Sen. Murray told the Globe she thought Rep. Delahunt would come back to run again (and win again, she predicted), but if he doesn’t run? Her tune could change very quickly.
More on this situation as it develops, but one word of warning: anyone who thinks that sticking a Kennedy in this race would produce a sure-fire win for the Democrats is fooling themselves.
One last random note on the brewing 10th Congressional district situation: there’s been some talk that Doug Meehan, who grew up on the Cape and was recently let go from his gig as WFXT/Fox 25’s helicopter reporter, would throw his hat into the increasingly crowded ring as a Republican.
A Republican working for Fox News? I’ve never heard of such a thing!
There are already three confirmed GOP candidates: State Representative Jeffrey D. Perry (R – Sandwich), Ray Kasperowicz of Cohasset, and Donald A. Hussey of Hingham. Joseph D. Malone of Scituate, a former two-term Massachusetts state treasurer and candidate in the 1998 gubernatorial race, and State Senator Robert L. Hedlund (R – Weymouth) have expressed an interest in running but have not yet made formal commitments.
Peter A. White of Mashpee is also in the race as an unenrolled candidate.
A couple reminders for upcoming campaign events: Rep. Perry officially launches his congressional campaign on Friday, March 5 at the Cape Codder Resort in Hyannis starting at 7 PM.
Republican Randy Hunt of Sandwich, who is hoping to succeed Rep. Perry in the Legislature, has his campaign kickoff event on Tuesday, March 9 at the Sandwich Hollows Golf Course from 5 PM to 7 PM. Rep. Perry will be the evening’s guest speaker.
Rep. Perry, by the way, will be opening his Cape-area campaign office tomorrow at 10 AM. It’s located at Heritage Plaza (337 Cotuit Road, Building B) in Sandwich, so swing by for the 10:30 AM ribbon-cutting to meet the candidate and pick up your signs, bumper stickers, and other Perry-phernalia.
(Rep. Perry, you’ll owe me a quarter every time you use that one.)
Political news and announcements may be sent to Michael Bailey, Region editor and senior political reporter, at email@example.com
The views and opinions in the Enterprise blogs are those of the author and are not neccessarily shared by Falmouth Publishing.