Third District and the Curse of the Open Seat

Third District and the Curse of the Open Seat

The Third Congressional District Democratic primary beat goes on, with 13 Democrats still in the race. More than enough to field a football team, or maybe host a small school dance. This race is more annoying than the ten spam phone calls a day that I get on my landline when I’m working from home. (Been meaning to get rid of that number finally.)

Anyway, it’s so crowded and the candidates largely still so unknown, that at 11%, one person, Rufus Gifford, is leading the recently released poll. But practically the entire field is within the margin of error, ya know? There is such a thing as too much choice.

So I’m still trying to decide about my own vote, never mind if I want to help a campaign in this race, but I do know there are candidates I won’t be voting for, and one of those is Dan Koh, who ties for 4th place at 4% in this poll, despite his scads of money from outside the district. I wasn’t much impressed with Koh in person, and am even less impressed with his very insider Boston cash. Then, though she seems like a nice person, Lori Trahan at 5% in this poll is also off my list. Anyone who gets the backing of both Golden and Nangle  (who are hardly Democrats—to be generous) and is associated with Marty Meehan/insider Lowell baseball and who has donated to Baker in the past, is probably not my progressive candidate of choice.

I’ve narrowed my own list to three: state Senator Barbara L’Italien, Alexandra Chandler, and Rufus Gifford…though progressive creds put L’Italien ahead in that pack, as she has a good score from Progressive Massachusetts. My big problem with much of the field is that it’s hard to evaluate how progressive they would be, alongside how effective…with at least 3-4 in the top tier with several right behind them, comparing/contrasting becomes a nightmare. There are too many, so you can’t get real in depth with enough of them to feel comfortable making a final decision. At least, if you’re me! And considering a lot of my activist friends who have chosen are all over the map as regards to which candidates they are volunteering for, I appear to be in good company.

And then, there’s the open state Senate race, without even mentioning the statewide races for Governor, Lt. Gov, and Secretary of State (that one’s easy as pie: I’m with Zakim 100%!). I know we complain all the time about how noncompetitive our elections here in MA are. We are at the bottom of all the states in that statistic. But now we have the opposite problem—mostly because open seats are a rare opportunity for competition. They say it never rains but it pours.

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