Sonia Chang-Diaz is running for Senate

(Important news. - promoted by David)

Jamaica Plain Democratic activist Sonia Chang-Diaz is running for State Senate from the Second Suffolk District.  She’ll be announcing her candidacy next week.

Sonia has a long history of involvement in the community and political participation.  She was legislative aid to State Senator Cheryl Jacques (who was later executive director of the Human Rights Campaign) and then managed Angus McQuilken’s run for State Senate (he’s now at Planned Parenthood of MA).  She’s an associate member of the Boston Ward 19 Democratic Committee, and is board of board of MassVOTE, an electoral reform and voter mobilization organization that seeks to involve more people in politics, especially minorities, low income, and new voters.

The Second Middlesex is the seat currently held by Diane Wilkerson.  It’s past the deadline for Chang-Diaz get on the Democratic primary ballot, but Wilkerson failed to collect enough signatures to get herself on the ballot, so they’ll both be running as write-in candidates.

I met Sonia on the Pat Jehlen campaign.  I was a precinct captain in east Medford, and Sonia ran campaign headquarters east on primary election day.  Hundreds of volunteers, including precinct captains for the eastern half of the senate district, participated in an amazing get out the vote campaign coordinated by Sonia.  This is a woman who knows how to run a campaign, and I think we have a real race on our hands.

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20 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. So why

    wasn't a talented organizer and experienced politico like Ms. Chang-Diaz running in the primary all along?  I'll say this for Samiyah Diaz: she had the guts to take on Wilkerson when it still looked like her name would actually be on the ballot.

    Anyway, this will be a good one to watch.

    • Who Are With?

      Ms. Chang-Diaz saw her opportunity. I don't understand this criticism. Sen Wilkerson dropped the ball big time and has a questionable record. Perhaps the Allies should have told the Germans when and where D-Day was happening?

      Perhaps George Washington should have tipped off the British about Valley Foge. I mean we caught the Hessions sleeping. No Guts on GW's part.

      eb3-fka-ernie-boch-iii   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
  2. For Real or To Gain Wilkerson an Advantage on Stickers?

    I sure hope Sonia is running to win in her own right and not something in concert with Wilkerson to confuse voters who might otherwise take a sticker for the other "S. Diaz" at the polls.  Trying to cause confusion at the polls is too cute by half, especially for someone from an election reform group like MassVOTE.  Of course, if it is just some ploy, turnabout is fair play and the Second Suffolk District is home to Dwayne Wilkerson, Cynthia Wilkerson, and about fifteen other Wilkersons not related to Dianne....

    Could Wilkerson really be that frightened by the (original) Diaz challenge?

    • Holy Mackeroly!

      This is big news! And I don't know what to think about amicus' point. I wouldn't think of Sonia as someone to play low-ball politics -- but I also wouldn't (at first glance) think of her as someone to run for a suddenly vulnerable State Senate seat. I'm biting my nails with anticipation either way :)

    • Sonia is running for real

      Could Wilkerson really be that frightened by the (original) Diaz challenge?

      I doubt it.  But whatever Wilkerson's state of mind, I don't think it has anything to do with Sonia's decision to run.

    • She is not running to just be another S. Diaz

      I just met Sonia Chang-Diaz at the Dunkin' Donuts in JP and asked her about this.

      She is not running to just be another S. Diaz.

      By posting a message proposing that she is, without first asking her, is unfair.

  3. wow!

    Wow I'm with Will on this one! I think I'll just add a "ditto!" to his post. This will be fascinating to watch.

  4. which one is sonia in that link above ?

  5. Which run did she manage for Angus McQuilken?

    the first one or the last one? or both?

    • She managed the first one...

      I was on the campaign for a bit. I must say that having worked with her on a campaign I think she will be a formidable candidate. I have also worked with her in DC at a 21st Century Dems training about a year ago.

      While I like her I have sort of blamed her for Angus' first loss... even though he did very well for a liberal in that district. I guess I have mixed feelings. I have to sort this out.

  6. Daughter of U.S. Astronaut Franklin Chang-Diaz?

    I heard that Sonia is the daughter of astronaut Franklin Chang-Diaz.  True?  Are we taking bets on the name of the next person to announce they're jumping into the sticker race?  I agree with Adam Reilly:  it's Susan Passoni.  3:1 odds.  This is now a race that anybody can win.  Who's next?

    • It's our own little California recall ballot! :)

      • CA recall or D.C. mayoral campaign?

        Maybe Wilkerson or Diaz should give Mayor Williams a call and get some advice on how you win a write in campaign!

    • Not anybody's race to win

      The way I see it, a crowded field only helps Wilkerson. Back in '98 after her tax fraud "issues," there were, I think, 3 challengers who just split the rest of the vote and let her walk away with it.

      • agreed

        I agree with eury - a big component of this race will be voters' feelings on the incumbent.  Do they want to sticker her name on the ballot, or would they rather put someone else on?  If there's one clear strong challenger, they'll pick her.  If there were to be multiple strong challengers, a lot of that would get split, and since we don't have IRV, Wilkerson could win even with minority support.

        Sonia Chang-Diaz is the strong challenger.  Simiyah Diaz is a Republican with no political experience, who I don't think will run a strong campaign.  There's no strong incentive for any other serious candidate to enter this race, IMO, because they'd make it less likely that any challenger would win.

        • But Wilkerson Has No Field Capability or Money

          Cos, ordinarily I'd agree with your analysis but not here.  If it were just a matter of standing at the polls and handing out stickers, the challengers might split the "change" vote to Wilkerson's advantage.  But a targeted sticker effort is an entirely different animal.  Wilkerson has proven that she has no field organization and her OCPF report shows that she has next to nothing in her campaign treasury.  The sticker race will be won by anyone who can get at least 1,000 voters to put a sticker on the correct spot on the ballot.  And if you thought butterfly ballots were complicated, just wait four months...

  7. Cheryl Jacques Correction:

    She left HRC Exec Director a long time ago -- for updates. Shame she won't come back to MA and run for something.

  8. Is Chang-Diaz's dad an astronaut?

    There's an astronaut Franklin R. Chang-Diaz, with a daughter Sonia R. born in 1978.  If Sonia is 27 years old, as the Globe article on her says, then that's about right.

    Might be a nice question for a portion of an interview covering personal history.

  9. Sonia Chang-Diaz Kick-Off Rally Tomorrow!

    Hey ya'll,

    In case you are interested in attending, Sonia's campaign kick-off rally will take place at the Egleston Peace Garden in Roxbury at 12:30 pm tomorrow, Sunday, June 18th.  The garden is at the corner of Washington and School Streets, directly across from the Fr. Jack Roussin Community Center. The closest T stop to Egleston Square is Stony Brook, on the Orange Line (at the intersection of Boylston and Lamartine Streets).

    Hope to see you there!


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