This Thursday, June 16, the truly adventurous can attend not one but two campaign kickoff events for the Second Middlesex Senate seat vacated by the death of Charlie Shannon. Rep. Pat Jehlen (D-Somerville) will be holding her event from 7-9 at Orleans Restaurant in Davis Square. Meanwhile, ex-Rep. Joe Mackey will be holding his event from 7-11 at the Somerville City Club.
Mackey apparently has the backing of ex-Governor’s Councillor and ex-Somerville Mayor Dorothy Kelly Gay, and Kelly Gay is already saying nasty things about Jehlen (like "she has not been able to deliver much to her constituents"). I’m sure there’s substantial inside baseball going on here – anyone care to fill us non-Somervilleans in?
Meanwhile, Jehlen has been racking up the "progressive" endorsements like there’s no tomorrow. The full list is here; included are several pro-marriage organizations, NOW, a bunch of area unions, Robert Reich, and more than a dozen present and former state legislators.
And, if you don’t feel like attending the kickoff parties (at which donations will no doubt be "gratefully accepted"), you can see Jehlen and Mackey at a forum sponsored by Progressive Democrats of Somerville tomorrow (Wednesday) at 7 pm at the Visiting Nurses Association Community Room, 259 Lowell St. In order to participate in the forum, Jehlen and Mackey had to fill out this questionnaire. Jehlen’s answers are here, and Mackey’s are here. Based on a quick read, I see two notable differences: Jehlen favors instant runoff voting while Mackey does not, and Jehlen spoke pretty forcefully against the rules changes adopted at the Convention, while Mackey didn’t discuss the issue. Both responses are well worth reading – these are the first documents I’ve seen that give any sense of where any of these candidates stand on the issues.
UPDATE: The Somerville News reports that Governor’s Councillor Michael J. Callahan formally announced his campaign for the Senate seat at the Good Time Emporium in Assembly Square earlier this week, and state auditor (and former pro boxer) Joe DeNucci was there to endorse him.
FURTHER UPDATE (6/17): Following the above-described event (which I unfortunately was not able to attend), Progressive Democrats of Somerville has endorsed Pat Jehlen.