Massachusetts Democratic State Convention - Results
by cos, Sat Jun 03, 2006 at 10:04:19 PM EDT
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...
GovernorThe expectations and the drama...
Deval Patrick: 58.0%Lt. Governor
Tom Reilly: 26.7%
Chris Gabrieli: 15.4%
Tim Murray: 49.0%Secretary
Andrea Silbert: 28.9%
Deb Goldberg: 22.0%
Bill Galvin: 70.7%
John Bonifaz: 29.3%
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.
- 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.
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%.
(Disclosure: I am John Bonifaz's campaign blogger - visit our blog)