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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

It's on

Who'd a thunk it a month ago that five men would throw their hats into the ring for a job they will need to compete for immediately after getting it?

But that's where we are this morning with reports two Democrats and three Republicans are ready to do battle for the right to squat for a few months in the US Senate seat vacated by John Kerry.

Republicans Michael Sullivan, Dan Winslow and Gabriel Gomez all say they have submitted more than 20,000 signatures in the quest for 10,000 certified voters. The devil is in the details and the certification process could turn up hanky-panky -- Winslow and Gomez paid firms to get signatures -- but it seems we are in for a rousing GOP primary.

Sullivan, a former US Attorney and one-time acting head of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, is seen as the front runner because of his credentials and the fact he didn't pay signature collectors -- somehow a signal he has more grassroots support.

But as David Bernstein rites in the Phoenix, he also comes in with baggage -- "the Massachusetts GOP mindset from 20 years ago." In particular, Sullivan offers a staunchly social conservative agenda on women's rights, gay marriage and the death penalty, issues Massachusetts has long ago moved past.

Heck, even Democrat Steve Lynch is walking away from his long-time pro-life stance.

Winslow is an interesting amalgam, a post-modern Republican who has served in all three branches as a one-time Mitt Romney legal counsel, a judge and now a state rep from Norfolk. And he tweets!

Gomez is the ultimate tabula rasa. All we know is based on two web videos and a handful of stories that show the former Navy Seal has been all over the political map. His formal unveiling should be fascinating.

The GOP field suggests that Democrats Lynch and Ed Markey will no longer consume all the oxygen as they have to date. That could be a blessing by letting the flavors of the GOP percolate publicly while the Democrats work relatively quietly (OK, six debates) behind the scenes.

The only true winner in the two-month sprint to the primary and the next two-month push to the end of June? Television stations and the folks who will rake in big bucks making the commercials that will likely flood the airwaves.

We're going to find ourselves missing that Slap Chop guy.

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