Georgetown University student Mike Brodo waxed nostalgic over the MassGOP of 2016 in his Nov. 21 op-ed “Under its current leadership, MassGOP risks more than elections.” Brodo writes, “MassGOP demonstrated that Beacon Hill was a beacon of hope.”
Brodo stands alone as a Republican finding hope in a Democratic stronghold. Not since the early 1990s have Republicans been able to sustain a gubernatorial veto. Without Democrats’ consent, Governor Baker simply cannot advance policy.
How did we get here? For decades, the Massachusetts Republican Party has engaged in a top-down strategy, prioritizing the corner office.
MassGOP chairman Jim Lyons has a different idea. Under Lyons’s leadership, the party apparatus has shifted its focus to the Legislature.
As the manager of Kevin O’Connor’s US Senate campaign, I watched MassGOP’s work with first-time candidates like Bruce Chester, Tatyana Semyrog, and Summer Schmaling. In fund-raising support, strategy, and boots-on-the-ground help, MassGOP offered hard-working legislative candidates more than in any election year since 1990.
Presidential years are tough for Republican campaigns. In 2012, we lost four; in 2016, we picked up one; and this year, we lost two. Our side must do better. I am convinced, given both the shift in focus and our message of liberty, economic opportunity, and personal freedom, that we will.