Member of the reality-based community of progressive (not anonymous) Massachusetts blogs
LOWELL STATE Rep. David Nangle took some heat from fellow Democrats for endorsing Brown. On Thursday, Nangle said he thought his endorsement of Brown actually helped his victory over Republican challenger Martin Burke.
“Everyone said — oh, my God — he’s in trouble now,” Nangle said. “But I think it helped because never before in any election I’ve been in have I seen my numbers this high.”
Nangle, who beat Burke 9,125 votes to 2,454 votes, represents the 17th Middlesex District, an area that includes parts of Chelmsford and the only neighborhood in Lowell that saw Brown score a decisive victory: Belvidere.
“I had the highest win percentage of anyone in the Merrimack Valley Tuesday,” said Nangle. “Obviously endorsements don’t translate much.”
I’ll speculate that had a long entrenched “Massachusetts Machine Democrat,” not Elizabeth Warren, been running against Scott Brown; Nangle would have gone “radio silent” soon after The Sun reported his politely showing Gail Huff around town, the first time. For some reason, knowing these folks as I do, I figure a call would have come that would have convinced Nangle that it is all well and fine to be palsy with GOPers, but that any further PUBLIC overtures would have been met with harsh reprisals.
Such a potential for squelching will be staunchly denied, of course. No doubt, the local conservatives will thrill in my candidness, while Dems will grit their teeth, as they tell you I’m way off base.
For now, Dave Nangle gets to be the big man in Belvidere. Certainly, his vote totals and ability to field boots on the ground in the last days of the cycle will hold up his boasts. It’s not likely that Beacon Hill will even bother to scold Nangle, as there are transactions to be made. It’s a business, afterall. We idealists merely grease the electoral skids for these folks. That fact is becoming more stark every election.
Come 2014, the brash, mouthy Democrats, myself included, will likely forget Nangle’s gambit. Will it always be a sore spot? Yes. But, in 2014, we’ll have to measure whether it will be worth it or not to pull the scab off.
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