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Ross Wins!

Lack of Democratic Support and Divisive Primary Costs Smulowitz

Richard Ross defeated progressive newcomer Peter Smulowitz by a decisive margin.

In the best of circumstances this was going to be a tough election for Democrats to win. The sourthern part of the district is heavily Republican. Scott Brown defeated Martha Coakley here by margins of 4-1 in many places. Had the Democracts been behind Smulowitz – it would have been possible to win with a lot of hard work.

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Peter Smulowitz

Supporters of Ross and Smulowitz have been out in force today turning out the vote for their candidates. The twitterscape is alive today with messages to get out the vote.

Progressive Activists out in Force for Smulowitz

Smulowitz has been getting a huge amount of support from progressive activists. Charles Rudnick, a progressive candidate for Senate from Brookline has been out knocking on doors for Smulowitz, as has Sarah Compton, former field Director for Obama for America MA, and Harmony Wu, prominent progressive organizer for Yes We Can Needham. Smulowitz phone banks were mobbed with supporters today, and phone banks have been set up in many other towns as well, from the Sourth Shore to Northampton.

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Needham Town Hall

Democrats in Needham have been trying to heal the division between Smulowitz and Harkins supporters.

On Wednesday there was a “Democratic Unity” meeting at a private home in Needham. In attendance was John Walsh, the Democratic Party Chair, and a large number of old guard Needham Democratic activists. Peter Smulowitz was there, and though Lida was invited she didn’t show.

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Dr. Peter Smulowitz

Lida Harkins has stunned Needham Democratics in an interview on Wicked Local Needham, where she refused to endorse Peter Smulowitz, the winner of the Democractic Primary for Scott Brown’s Senate seat. She said she isn’t supporting Ross only because she is Chair of Needham’s Democratic Town Committee.

Harkins, a 20 year incumbent, lost to Smulowitz by a narrow margin in what is looking like a difficult election year for Democratic incumbents. Toward the end of the race, Smulowitz sent out flyers attacking Harkins controversial campaign financing, pointing out that she continues to take contributions from indicted former Speakers.

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Morse Library

The Natick Democratic Town Committee will host a debate on April 6 for the candidates for the open state Senate seat – state Rep. Lida Harkins and Dr. Peter Smulowitz – on the April 13 primary ballot.

The event will be held at 7 p.m. at the Morse Institute Library, 14 East Central St. in the Lebowitz Meeting Hall. The debate will be moderated by Rick Holmes, Editorial Page Editor of The MetroWest Daily News, and will include questions from the public.

The Natick Democratic Town Committee is also planning to co-sponsor a candidate forum for both parties’ nominees prior to the May 11 Special Election.

This is one of two special elections and one of only two chances to act early for independent candidates this year.

Richard Ross has many friends.

I did another Facebook analysis of the other special election for Scott Brown’s old seat. The same caveats apply: this is a crude measure of support. It all depends on how much effort each candidate has put into their Facebook outreach, and the demographics of their supporters. But it does give us some insight into how much support they have and how well organized their campaign is.

Lets jump right to the numbers:

The only real story here is – look at how many friends Ross has. He outpaces both of this competitors combined – by 2-1. Either he has a ton more grass roots support – or he’s got a pretty aggressive Facebook program – or probably both. He’s been in politics for more than a decade so maybe its not so surprising. Read the rest of this entry »

Wrentham Center

An analysis of the campaign financing for the candidates for Scott Brown’s open state Senate seat shows that Richard Ross, Peter Smulowitz and Rich Mitchell have taken almost no contributions from lobbyists or PAC’s. Lida Harkins filings show a disturbing amount of financing by lobbyists and PACs – and a penchant for shopping.

Lets start by looking at the amount of money each candidate had on hand when they last filed disclosures in January:

  • Lida Harkins (D) – $7,192
  • Richard Ross (R) – $14,205
  • Peter Smulowitz (D) – $27,851
  • Rich Mitchell (I)  – Late entrant not yet filed.

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These are the candidates I know about who are running to fill Scott Brown’s seat:

There aren’t a lot of candidates yet, but this should be an interesting race because this seat could go Democrat or Republican.

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