Massachusetts Democratic State Convention - Results

This should be my "Day 2" post, but I got home from the convention later and more exhaused than I'd expected, and I'm not up to the task of writing something well organized about all of the things I should write about.  So, instead, a brief summary of the how the votes played out and what they meant now, and the rest of my stories later.

I spent part of the day in the press room with fellow Massachusetts lefty bloggers who were liveblogging the convention: Charley at Blue Mass Group, Lynne at Left in Lowell, and Andy at Mass Revolution Now! (Follow those links for the day's running commentary.)

For background on the candidates, read my post on day 1.  The 1st ballot results...

    Deval Patrick: 58.0%
    Tom Reilly: 26.7%
    Chris Gabrieli: 15.4%
Lt. Governor
    Tim Murray: 49.0%
    Andrea Silbert: 28.9%
    Deb Goldberg: 22.0%
    Bill Galvin: 70.7%
    John Bonifaz: 29.3%
The expectations and the drama...

  1. Governor
    Deval Patrick was going to be the big story of this convention, and everyone knew that in advance.  His speech rocked the house, his fans were numerous, and he comfortably won the convention endorsement on the first ballot.  The big story we didn't know in advance was Chris Gabrieli: would he or wouldn't he get 15% and a spot on the Democratic primary ballot?

    Well, it turns out he did, but it was a nailbiter.  As the counts began to come in, rumors were that he was just short of 15%.  A Gabrieli spokesman announced that Gabrieli would be making an announcement to his supporters, then it was cancelled, and then, amidst other rumors of some last minute backroom deal, Gabrieli made his announcement: he had 15.4% and a spot on the ballot.  Rumors of a backroom deal were never confirmed - it seems he legitimately got just barely enough votes - but there's a bit more to it than that, which I'll try to cover in my next post.

  2. Lt. Governor
    I heard some speculation that Deb Goldberg might not get 15%, but I never believed it.  I heard talk that if Tim Murray got the convention endorsement on the first ballot, it would be a big boost to his campaign - certainly true, but how likely was it?  Most everyone seemed to think the Lt. Governor's race would go to a second ballot, and nobody speculated Goldberg or Silbert winning on the first.

    As it turns out, Murray came mighty close, partly due to nearly-complete sweeps of some of the Worcester districts.  Since he was 1% short, a runoff was called for between him and 2nd-place Andrea Silbert.  Silbert suggested a motion to suspend the rules and hold a voice vote for the endorsement, instead of another roll call.  The motion was greeted with universal cheers, and passed overwhelmingly.  Murray got the convention endorsement on the voice vote that followed, but it was closer than I thought - almost close enough to make it impossible to pick a winner with a voice vote.

  3. Secretary
    This was the most surprising outcome at the convention, and the one I'm happiest about.  Our goal on the Bonifaz campaign was to get 15%, to get him on the ballot.  We went in cautiously optimistic, but I don't think any of us felt fully assured.

    Bill Galvin, has been in office for over a decade, and he was the only incumbent running for re-election being voted on today.  The office is low profile; no delegates I know of ran with a pledge to either candidate, and most of them had probably never heard of Bonifaz, or even known this was a contested race, until they arrived.  In his time in office, Galvin has made a lot of connections with party officials and activists, and his office also controls a large number of patronage jobs.  Convention votes are out in the open, and for many delegates, it would have been impolitic (or even downright risky) to vote against Galvin.

    If someone had suggested to me that Bonifaz would leave the convention with more votes than Attorney General Tom Reilly, and more votes than Andrea Silbert, and more votes than Deb Goldberg, I'd have said "I wish!".  Bonifaz's near-30% is as surprising to me, and as exhilarating, as Ned Lamont's 33%.

The upshot: All 8 candidates who ran today will be on the primary ballot - 3 for Governor, 3 for Lt. Governor, and 2 for Secretary.  The party's endorsements went as expected: Deval Patrick for Governor, Tim Murray for Lt. Governor, and Bill Galvin for Secretary.  Results of note that were not or could not have been safely predicted were Gabrieli's razor-thin finish, Andrea Silbert finishing ahead of Deb Goldberg, how close Murray got to a first ballot endorsement, and John Bonifaz getting twice as many votes as he needed.

(Disclosure: I am John Bonifaz's campaign blogger - visit our blog)

Tags: Andrea Silbert, Bill Galvin, Chris Gabrieli, Deb Goldberg, Deval Patrick, John Bonifaz, Massachusetts, Tim Murray, Tom Reilly (all tags)



Re: Mass

Are Dems actually going to win in MASS this year or are we going to blow another election there?

by JackBourassa 2006-06-03 10:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Mass

After four years of Mitt Romney's empty suit, MA voters are aching for a change.  What the GOP is offering is Kerry Healey, an empty blouse.  The only time you ever hear anything about Healey is when she's said or done something stupid...again.  She's a lightweight, and Patrick will crush her.

by BarmyFotheringayPhipps 2006-06-03 10:54PM | 0 recs
Mass Victory '06

There's only one statewide office in Massachusetts that's competitive in the general election - Governor.  So I assume that's the one you're asking about.  Well, Lt. Governor goes with that.  But for US Senator, Attorney General, State Auditor, and State Treasurer, the Democratic nominee is effectively as good as in office.  So yes, we'll certainly win those :)

For Governor, I believe if Deval Patrick gets the nomination, we are heavily favored to win.  If Reilly or Gabrieli get it, I think it will be harder, but still doable.  Other people have differing opinions, of course.

And thanks to Howard Dean, Mass Victory '06 has several DNC field organizers on the job already, undistracted by primary campaigns, and they're already well on their way to recruiting Democratic precinct captains for every single precinct in the state.  That would be unprecedented - especially doing it so early, since on most state election years, Democratic activists are all focused on their favorite primary candidates until September.

by cos 2006-06-03 10:22PM | 0 recs

I perfer Gabrieli (i was for Reilly before, but he is a bad campaigner), Murray and Galvin - so, everything went OK from my point of view....

by smmsmm 2006-06-03 11:27PM | 0 recs
Just Make Sure You Cross-Post Bonifaz Material!

Obviously the most important non-gubenatorial statewide race in the nation.

by Paul Rosenberg 2006-06-04 01:07AM | 0 recs
key statewide races for progressive reformers

Thanks :)
Actually if I had to pick the most important statewide race, I'd say it's Lamont vs. Lieberman.  Bonifaz is the next most important one.  And if we win both, progressive momentum in reforming the Democratic party(ies) will be on a big roll.

To start the roll, there are primaries this Tuesday with two very important Democratic primaries for progressive reformers: Jon Tester for US Senate in Montana, and Deb Bowen for Secretary of State in California.  Both are June 6th.  If we win either of those, it'll give us momentum for Lamont, and if he wins his primary, that'll be a lot of momentum for Bonifaz, the following month in a neighboring state - because it'll create a perception in the press that progressive challengers are serious challenges.

P.S. You can recommend Tester, Lamont, and Bonifaz to Democracy for America for their endorsement (you need to make an account on DFA-Link if you don't have one yet).  They've already endorsed Lamont (and Deval Patrick for Governor of MA), but not the other two.

by cos 2006-06-04 08:37AM | 0 recs
Wrong Term--I Should Have Said 'State-Level'

In fact, I should have said "state-wide state-level" just to make it perfectly clear.

by Paul Rosenberg 2006-06-04 08:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Wrong Term--I Should Have Said 'State-Level'

Hmm. What about OH SoS or OH AG? There are also a few other important AG races out there. Even NY AG might become competitive, if the Dems bog down in a nasty primary and Pirro (who hasn't screwed up much so far while running for AG) stays on course.

by DavidNYC 2006-06-04 09:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Wrong Term--I Should Have Said 'State-Level'

I'd love to see Democrats take all the statewide offices in Ohio (and I think they may), but the races we're talking about here are contested Democratic primaries.  For progressive reformers trying to make a better party, primaries are where we have that contest with the party establishment.  They're where we pick what kinds of candidates will represent and make up our party.

Bonifaz, like Lamont, would be as good as elected if he wins his primary (which is a steep uphill battle).  The general elections in these cases aren't very competitive, but victories in the primaries would have deep lasting impact.

On the election reform front, John Bonifaz is nationally important.  He's one of us, and getting him elected would yield dividends all over the country.  We'd finally have one secretary of state who publicizes the issues and leads nationally.  He's not only a genuine election reformer who truly understands the things we talk about on the blogs - those are rare enough among candidates for Secretary.  He's more than that, he's the election reformer of our time.  Electing him secretary of state would be like having had Martin Luther King heading the civil rights division in the 60s, or appointing Howard Dean the secretary of Health & Human Services, or tapping Al Gore to run the EPA.

by cos 2006-06-04 11:12PM | 0 recs
by davidsebasy 2007-02-03 06:40AM | 0 recs


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