I’ve never been a fan of voting based on demographic identifiers, meaning I won’t vote for somebody just because they are the so-called “minority candidate”, the “woman candidate”, the “gay candidate”, etc. What’s more important, especially in today’s political climate, is to vote for the candidate with the record and the positions which best matches your values and you feel is best qualified for the job. Being from X demographic group is not a qualification on its own. What do these candidates stand for and what have they accomplished?
In the 5th district race, the Boston media have already annointed Niki Tsongas as the frontrunner by virtue of her being the late Sen. Paul Tsongas’s widow and for being a woman. Some bloggers have already dubbed her a progressive though she lacks much of a public record in supporting progressive causes. Niki Tsongas has said “all the right things” in terms of liberal red meat, but her membership on the board of directors of the right-wing Concord Coalition (which her late husband co-founded) is more telling of her actual political philosophy than her recent public statements or (as some have posited) her gender.
I don’t know much about Eileen Donoghue since the press and her campaign haven’t done much to go over her positions or her record. She may very well be a great progressive, but that credential has yet to be vetted publicly.
The point here is that if this blog is primarily the home of the Bay State’s progressive bloggers and the goal of those who post here is to elect the best progressive possible, then bloggers owe it to their political integrity to fully and carefully review each candidate, regardless of demographics, to determine who is the candidate who best represents their values and who has the best record in doing so. Voting solely based on the gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religion of candidate could actually result in electing a candidate whose positions are antithetical to your own.