Although I committed early to support Deval Patrick at the convention, I have not yet made a decision about whom to support for Lt. Governor. Here are my thoughts on the candidates so far. I’m very open to well-reasoned arguments and respectful opinions from the BMG community.
I know very little about Tim Murray. This alone is a concern to me, as I have learned quite a bit about the other two candidates via their campaigns. Mayor Murray’s campaign, on the other hand, has sent me only a couple of mail pieces with little substantive information and has not otherwise contacted me.
I do think there’s something to be said for someone with direct (and reportedly successful) experience in an executive-branch office. Being mayor of a city like Worcester is no easy feat, and he’s done it in a way that has allowed him to maintain and build support over three terms.
As a Deval Patrick supporter, I’ve noticed that many other Deval supporters are backing Andrea Silbert. This makes me wonder what they know that I haven’t figured out yet. From what I’ve seen, her positions on some of the big issues aren’t substantially different than the other candidates’. Her success with the organization she ran (Center for Women and Enterprise?) is admirable, though whether it prepared her for a job as Lt. Gov. any better than the other candidates were prepared, I’m not sure.
One thing I don’t put much stock in is the argument that she’s middle-class and therefore will somehow understand or represent “the people” better than the other candidates. I can say from experience that there are born-into-money folks who are very in touch and folks who grew up poor or middle-class who are very out of touch.
Deb Goldberg called me earlier this evening and spent five minutes on the phone making her case for why she’s the strongest candidate. As I noted above, I haven’t decided yet whether I agree with her, but she had some decent arguments. First, she has been involved in government and public service for years (so has Tim Murray). Second, she has won several contentious elections and policy battles (true, but local and state are two different animals). Third, she has money, both from supporters and from her pocket, and she’s willing to spend it to help the Dems win (valid point).
Beyond the points above, I’ve been impressed by her willingness to engage with the local level of the party. She was the only candidate in the campaign to e-mail all the ward chairs introducing herself, asking if she could arrange local events, and providing her personal e-mail address. When I wrote back, she responded within a day or two. Her campaign ultimately followed up on my recommendation to contact the city committee chair (state rep. Paul Donato), who she has since befriended. She also attended a city committee meeting to introduce herself and take questions, and she called me personally tonight to ask about my concerns going into the convention. (Incidentally, it wasn’t a generic call-list call; she had come across my e-mail from last year when cleaning out her Inbox.)
Right now, I’m leaning a bit towards Deb Goldberg, but as I said above, I’m still deciding. I’m impressed by Deb Goldberg’s ability to engage at the local level, she has the money to fund a campaign through November, and she seems to be a bright, articulate, experienced leader. That said, I’m intrigued by the large base of progressive support for Andrea Silbert. So far, nothing has led me to lean towards Tim Murray, but again, I’m open to opinions.