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Posts in "Mass. Senate"

January 11, 2013

Massachusetts: Democratic Rabbi Mulls Senate Bid

Rabbi Jonah Pesner sounds a lot like a man who is about to launch a bid for the Senate.

He weaves a compelling biographical narrative, says he has the ability to raise a lot of money and a has a spark of passion when speaking about the issues and why he might be called to run.

“At this moment in history, when it feels so polarized, when there is so much discussion of what divides us,” he said. “I know there are models of elected leadership where we can bring people together for common purpose and overcome the obstacles of partisanship and narrow self-interest.”

“I believe that this may be a moment for me to take all the things that I’ve learned as a rabbi, as an organizer, as a politically and civically engaged leader,” Pesner said, “and put a new kind of stake in the ground and aspire to engage in a higher plane of politics.”

Full story

January 10, 2013

Massachusetts: Barney Frank Continues His Push to be Appointed Senator

Massachusetts: Barney Frank Continues His Push to be Appointed Senator

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank amped up his push to be appointed interim senator Wednesday night, arguing that his experience made him uniquely qualified for the position.

In an interview on the MSNBC program, “Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell,” the Democrat said the next three months on Capitol Hill may be “as important a set of three months as we’ve had since the New Deal” and argued he was best person to represent the Bay State during that time.

“That’s why I volunteered,” he said. “And I did have people say, ‘Well, you’re not supposed to volunteer.’ And, frankly, my view is that’s kind of junior high school stuff. The difference between me and a number of other people who want to be the interim senator are I’ve said so publicly and the rest are being coy.” Full story

January 2, 2013

Massachusetts: Lynch Still Weighing Bid for Senate

Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Stephen F. Lynch said Wednesday night that he is still considering a special election run for the Senate, eyeing the seat expected to be vacated by Secretary of State nominee John Kerry.

“I am giving serious consideration to a run for the United States Senate and am grateful for the support and encouragement I have received in recent days,” he said in a statement to CQ Roll Call. “As we await Senator Kerry’s confirmation hearings, I will continue to weigh my options and decide the best way to serve our communities.”

National Democrats — and Kerry himself — have worked to clear the Democratic field for the dean of the Bay State congressional delegation, Rep. Edward J. Markey, who plans to run. But that effort has, so far, been unsuccessful, with Lynch, Rep. Michael E. Capuano and state Sen. Benjamin Downing all still considering a bid. Full story

Massachusetts: State Democratic Party Hires Northwind Strategies

Massachusetts: State Democratic Party Hires Northwind Strategies

Outgoing Sen. Scott Brown has not said whether he will run in an expected special election this year, but Democrats are already gearing up for the fight. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Massachusetts Democratic Party has retained Northwind Strategies — the firm that advised Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren’s 2012 campaign — to help with its coordinated effort in the expected Senate special election this year.

The move means Doug Rubin, an operative at the firm close to Warren and Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick, will not be advising a candidate in the Democratic primary, but rather will be helping with strategy for whoever is the Democratic nominee.

Democratic Sen. John Kerry’s expected confirmation to be secretary of State appears likely to set up a special election that could happen as early as June.

Full story

December 28, 2012

Massachusetts: National Democrats Coalesce Behind Markey

National Democrats moved swiftly on Friday to close ranks behind Rep. Edward J. Markey as their candidate to run to succeed Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry upon his confirmation as the next secretary of State.

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Michael Bennet of Colorado released a statement endorsing Markey shortly after Kerry did the same on Friday afternoon.

“Ed Markey always remembers where he came from and will continue the hard work needed to turn our economy around,” Bennet said. “He is exactly the kind of leader Massachusetts needs in the U.S. Senate.” Full story

December 27, 2012

Markey Running for Senate in Massachusetts

Markey Running for Senate in Massachusetts

Rep. Edward J. Markey has decided to run for Senate. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Massachusetts Rep. Edward J. Markey on Thursday became the first prominent Democrat to announce his intention to run in the expected special election to replace Democrat John Kerry, who was nominated last week to be the next Secretary of State.

The Boston Globe first reported that Markey will seek the seat but not the temporary appointment by Gov. Deval Patrick, who is likely to select a caretaker until a special election can be held.

“With Senator Kerry’s departure, Massachusetts voters will decide once again whether we want a Senator who will fight for all our families or one who supports a Republican agenda that benefits only the powerful and well-connected,” Markey said in a statement. He already has a Senate campaign website up. Full story

December 21, 2012

Massachusetts: Long Line for Special Senate Election

Massachusetts: Long Line for Special Senate Election

Brown, above, could run in the special election that will be held to succeed Kerry, who has been tapped by Obama to serve as secretary of State. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. John Kerry’s nomination for secretary of State will open the flood gates of ambitious Bay State Democrats looking to succeed him.

In fact, the list of potential Democratic candidates grew in the week leading up to today’s White House confirmation that President Barack Obama would nominate the Foreign Relations Committee chairman and five-term senator to the post.

Three longtime Democratic members of the Massachusetts House delegation — Reps. Michael E. Capuano, Stephen F. Lynch and Edward J. Markey — have expressed interest in the Senate seat. Markey has even polled the race, according to the Boston Globe. Earlier this week, Boston media outlets reported businessman Edward M. Kennedy Jr. — the son of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass. — is also interested in running.

The winner of the Democratic nomination could face exiting Sen. Scott P. Brown, R-Mass., who lost re-election last month, in what many national operatives believe would be a competitive race. A Brown aide told Roll Call earlier this week that it’s too early to speculate on another run. Brown’s father died on Thursday, and the Republican was in Massachusetts on Friday and unavailable for comment.

And then there’s actor and director Ben Affleck.

Full story

December 14, 2012

Massachusetts: Assessing the Would-Be Candidates for a Senate Special Election

Massachusetts: Assessing the Would Be Candidates for a Senate Special Election

Markey is among those interested in moving to the Senate if there is a vacancy to be filled. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 7:35 p.m. Dec. 15 | Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., is set to be nominated as the next secretary of State, according to news reports Saturday evening.

It became clear in the wake of Susan Rice’s withdrawal from consideration on Thursday that Kerry was the leading contender for the position, touching off a theoretical chess game of speculation about who will fill his Senate seat.

If Kerry resigns to move to the State Department, Gov. Deval Patrick (D) will appoint a short-term successor to serve until a special election can take place. More on the politics of that after the jump, but first, here are the names being mentioned for a special election.

DEMOCRATS:

One plugged-in state Democratic operative laid out the different categories for possible Democratic candidates.

Group One — Current House Delegation 

A 2013 special election would essentially be a free run for any House member because he or she wouldn’t have to give up his or her current seat. Here are the names being floated around Boston on Friday morning. Also, if it is a Member of Congress who succeeds Kerry either by appointment or election, the same succession laws apply to that House seat as a Senate vacancy.

  • Rep. Edward J. Markey: “I heard that Markey is trying to clear the field. Good luck,” the operative said.
  • Rep. Michael E. Capuano: He ended up being the only member to run in the Senate special election that resulted from the death of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. He finished second in the primary and is viewed as almost certain to run again if there is a vacancy.
  • Rep. Stephen F. Lynch: He eyed running in the 2010 special election but opted against it.

Full story

November 28, 2012

Inside the 2014 Senate Races

Inside the 2014 Senate Races
Roll Call’s initial Senate ratings outlook projects a potentially bullish cycle for Republicans, with an opportunity to recapture the majority for the first time in eight years.

But that’s exactly how things looked two years before the 2012 elections, when Democrats surprised many with victories in Missouri and North Dakota on their way to picking up two seats. So the challenge for the GOP and incoming National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Jerry Moran of Kansas is to capitalize on their opportunities.

That and how voters feel about President Barack Obama in 2014 could determine how the parties fare at the ballot box less than two years from now. Democrats won their current majority in 2006, in the second midterm election under President George W. Bush.

Republicans are hoping Obama’s second midterm is similarly kind to them, if not equal to the president’s 2010 midterm shellacking, when the GOP won seven seats (and control of the House) despite beginning the cycle as the underdog.

Full story

November 6, 2012

Massachusetts: Scott Brown Loses Re-Election Bid to Elizabeth Warren

Massachusetts: Scott Brown Loses Re Election Bid to Elizabeth Warren

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Lightning didn’t strike twice in Massachusetts for Sen. Scott Brown (R).

The Associated Press called the race for Elizabeth Warren (D), a Harvard University professor, consumer advocate and first-time political candidate, around 10 p.m. She had 53 percent of votes to Brown’s 47 percent, with 47 percent of precincts reporting.

The Bay State’s junior Senator won an improbable special election victory in January 2010 that shocked the political world. The results this evening, in deep-blue Massachusetts, proved decidedly less of a jolt. Full story

November 5, 2012

Massachusetts: New Poll Finds Senate Race Very Close

Massachusetts: New Poll Finds Senate Race Very Close

Sen. Scott Brown had a slim lead over his Democratic opponent in a poll released just before Election Day. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Scott Brown (R) led Democrat Elizabeth Warren by 1 point among likely voters in a new poll, casting drops of doubt on the conventional wisdom that Warren had pulled into a comfortable and nearly insurmountable lead in the weeks before Election Day.

While the vast majority of recent reputable polling has shown Warren comfortably ahead of the incumbent, a new UMass Lowell/Boston Herald poll found Brown leading Warren 49 percent to 48 percent among Massachusetts registered voters likely to vote. One percent didn’t know and one percent said they would vote for someone else.

Among all registered voters, Warren led Brown by 2 points.

Full story

November 4, 2012

Race Rating Changes: The Final Push

Race Rating Changes: The Final Push

Supporters of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney listen Sunday during a rally in Des Moines, Iowa. With two days before Election Day, Romney is campaigning in swing states across the country. (Emmanuel Dunando/AFP/Getty Images)

Heading into the final weekend of barnstorming before Election Day, there was a noticeable shift toward the GOP in many key House races while Democrats seem to be getting more good news than bad about the Senate map.

First, the Senate math:

Yes, it’s quite possible (even likely) that Democrats such as Sens. Sherrod Brown (Ohio) and Bob Casey (Pa.) will have closer margins on Election Day than most expect. But Democrats are likely to hold both seats, and the climb for Republicans to net the four seats they need for an outright majority (if President Barack Obama is re-elected) seems steep heading into election week.

Here’s what we know: Republicans are likely to pick up two Senate seats in Nebraska and North Dakota (although the race there remains close). Those gains are likely to be offset by Democratic pickups in Massachusetts and Maine, where an Independent is poised to win and will likely caucus with Democrats. Assuming Republicans hold their seats in Arizona and Nevada, which seems like a good bet, that’s a zero net gain, leaving the chamber’s makeup at 53 Democrats and 47 Republicans. Full story

November 1, 2012

AFL-CIO’s Richard Trumka Heading to Ohio for Campaign’s Final Days

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said today he will head to Ohio for the final four days before the elections as part of the labor group’s get-out-the-vote strategy on behalf of President Barack Obama and downballot Democrats nationwide.

“We’re facing a dramatic choice of visions and paths forward,” Trumka said today during a conference call with reporters.

He said working-class Americans are rejecting the agenda of the Republican ticket, led by Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.).

The AFL-CIO has mobilized 128,000 volunteers who plan to knock on 5.5 million voters’ doors in battleground states such as Ohio, he said.

“We’ll make 5.2 million phone calls,” Trumka added. “We’ll be talking to voters at their homes, on their phones, at their worksites.”

He said union volunteers and organizers are also making a difference for Democratic Senate candidates Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Rep. Tammy Baldwin (Wis.) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio), among others.

“We also continue to monitor reports of voter suppression,” Trumka said. “We’re going to have over 2,000 people available as poll monitors that will be connected to a number of lawyers around the country. We’ll be able to have a rapid response team that will respond immediately to that.”

Trumka said he visited an early voting site in Las Vegas last week where Republican volunteers were also on the ground. He said Ohio would be a major focus of such poll watching and predicted that Obama would ultimately win the state by 3 points or 4 points.

Michael Podhorzer, the AFL-CIO’s political director, said working families, particularly those in unions, have “decisively chosen Barack Obama’s path.”

Trumka said a Romney campaign ad claiming that Jeep has planned layoffs — a claim that parent Chrysler Corp. has called erroneous — “is backfiring on him” particularly in Ohio. “It shows how desperate he is,” Trumka said.

Trumka said the labor movement has much at stake on Nov. 6. If Romney wins, he said, “I think it would be devastating for America, including the trade union movement.” He added that a Romney administration would be “geared toward corporate America and away from workers.”

No matter what happens this cycle, the union leaders said they would maintain a full-time staff in Ohio and other states so they can grow the program into future elections.

October 30, 2012

Massachusetts: New Poll Has Elizabeth Warren Up 7 Points Over Scott Brown

Massachusetts: New Poll Has Elizabeth Warren Up 7 Points Over Scott Brown

A new poll in the Massachusetts Senate race showed Sen. Scott Brown down by 7 points. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A new poll in the Massachusetts Senate race found Sen. Scott Brown (R) trailing Democrat Elizabeth Warren by 7 points in this horse-race matchup.

Warren, a Harvard University professor and consumer advocate, led Brown 53 percent to 46 percent in a newly released Suffolk University/7News poll. About 1 percent were undecided.

The survey found 45 percent had a favorable opinion of Brown, while 42 percent had an unfavorable opinion of him. Fifty-one percent had a favorable opinion of Warren, while 36 percent had an unfavorable opinion of her.

The Suffolk University poll — which is well respected in the Bay State — seemed to paint Monday’s Boston Globe poll, which showed the race tied, as something of an outlier. An average of recent polls showed Warren leading Brown by more than 4 points, a tough gap for the Senator to make up in the final week.

The Suffolk University poll surveyed 600 likely voters using live interviewers to call land lines and cellphones from Oct. 25 through Oct. 28. The poll’s margin of error was 4 points.

October 29, 2012

Massachusetts: New Poll Shows Scott Brown, Elizabeth Warren Tied

Massachusetts: New Poll Shows Scott Brown, Elizabeth Warren Tied

A new poll showed Sen. Scott Brown tied with his Democratic challenger as the campaign winds down. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A new poll in the bitterly fought Massachusetts Senate race found Sen. Scott Brown (R) tied with Democrat Elizabeth Warren. In a horse-race matchup among likely voters, including those who lean toward Brown or Warren, each candidate took 47 percent.

The survey, conducted for the Boston Globe by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, found 54 percent of those polled had a favorable impression of Brown, while 37 percent saw him unfavorably. Forty-nine percent saw Warren, a Harvard University professor and consumer advocate, favorably while 42 percent had an unfavorable view of her.

A number of earlier polls found Warren leading.

Roll Call rates the race as a Tossup.

The poll surveyed 583 likely Bay State voters by live telephone interview from Oct. 24 to 28.  It had a margin of error of 4.1 points.

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