Bass Talks Mass: July 3rd 2020
Welcome to Bass Talks Mass, a hub for Bay Sate Politics and Election News, and a happy Independence weekend to all. As we move from June into July, we draw closer to the Massachusetts legislative primary on September 1st, and as that time comes closer, more developments have begun to emerge in the races.
So without further ado, let’s talk Mass.
1: In the Massachusetts Senate primary, both Senator Ed Markey and Congressman Joe Kennedy III raised 1.9 million dollars each in the second campaign quarter. Markey currently has 4.8 million dollars cash on hand and Kennedy 4.7 million, indicating a very tight race for September. This is Markey’s first time of having more cash on hand than Kennedy as the former congressman has out raised him in the last two quarters, however the tightening of the fundraising signifies that Kennedy can still be able to find footing in the next two months. Kennedy’s campaign has burned through a decent amount of it’s funds, spending them on an advertising blitz on television commercials via cable and streaming services in the state, Markey has not spent his money on television advertisements as of yet, but we could expect to see some as the primary draws near. As WPRI12 political reporter Ted Nesi stated, “this could be a dogfight to the end.”
2: Representative Kennedy received a video endorsement from Salem’s Mayor Kim Driscoll on Tuesday, helping him gain some footing in Essex County, where Salem is located. Essex County’s demographics should in theory be favorable to Senator Ed Markey, as it has a 89.8% white population and a median income of around 65,000$. Markey even won the district in his primary against Stephen Lynch in 2013, winning around 57% of the vote to Lynch’s 42%. Yet, if Kennedy manages to find a way to get Essex County voting for him, Markey would be in a lot of trouble.
3: In policy news: Governor Charlie Baker has announced that Massachusetts will move into phase 3 of reopening next Monday. Some noticeable businesses that would reopen include gyms, health clubs, museums, and casinos. While Massachusetts has been on a steady track to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, some critics do find Baker’s decision to move into the third phase alarming, especially in the wake of more cases of the virus appearing in states, as well as those who could break safety guidelines this weekend for 4th of July plans. Other Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic States such as New York and New Jersey, have put a pause on the reopening process, most noticeably eating indoors. It is unclear wether Massachusetts will also put a pause on it’s indoor dining plan as well.
4: In the race for the 4th congressional district, six of the nine candidates have released their 2nd Quarter fundraising numbers. As of now, wall street regulator Isshane Leckey leads the pack in terms of fundraising for this quarter as she has managed to rake in a shocking 710,000$. Leckey, a firebrand progressive who has called for dramatic social change in the district has had a hard time breaking out of the pack in these last months, but due to a shift in the Democratic Electorate after the wake of George Floyd’s murder, she might have found the jolt of energy that she needs in order to make her name and campaign known.
5: Leckey also may have gotten a boost as she was endorsed this week by another candidate in the race, Nick Matthews. Matthews, a former teacher did not qualify to make the ballot on election day due to not filing paperwork properly. As such he tried to continue to run on a write in campaign, which did not come to fruition. Matthews endorsed Leckey on Wednesday, the same day her numbers were released.
6: Following Leckey’s lead is tech entrepreneur Chris Zannetos with 638,000$, CityYear CEO Alan Khazei with 548,748$, Newton City Councilman Jake Auchincloss with 288,000$, former Brookline Selectman member Jesse Mermell with 269,000$, and finally epidemiologist Dr. Natalia Linos with 200,000$. The other three candidates who have not reported on fundraising just yet are Newton City Councilwoman Becky Grossman, former Obama speechwriter Dave Cavell, and Lawyer and activist Ben Sigel.
7: In terms of endorsements, Auchincloss and Mermell received some support from the South Shore this week, an area that plays a crucial part in determining who will be the nominee for the Democrats come November 3rd. Auchincloss was endorsed by Rep Pat Haddad, Speaker pro tempore of the MA House of Representatives and Rep Carole Fiola of Fall River and Freetown. Mermell meanwhile received the endorsement of the Save Our Schools Pac of Rehoboth and Dighton, noting her experience as the Executive Director of FairTest and her work for public schools.
8: Finally in terms of policy, Dr. Natalia Linos released her COVID-19 recovery plan on Wednesday. This 25 page plan focuses accessing resources to keep Bay Staters financially safe, provide childcare options for working families, and involving community members in contract tracing to work together. Dr. Linos, a late entry in the MA04 race has managed to find a path forward amongst younger voters, managing to raise 200,000$ as well as secure the endorsement of the president of the College Democrats of Massachusetts.