Policy

“I think the Republican Party is under water and will be for many years to come,” said one longtime consultant.

Jim Lyons, chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party, speaks to the media on election night. Matthew J. Lee / Globe Staff

When the state legislature convenes for a new legislative session next year, there will be approximately 26 Republicans out of 200 seats in both houses of the House of Republican.

On Tuesday, the already slim MassGOP minority lost even more weight as the Democrats won three more seats in the House than in the previous cycle. The result leaves Republicans with less representation at any session since 2009, according to Information service of the State House.

The party’s greatest chance of winning was a competitive duel between incumbent State Senator Becca Rausch of Needham and Republican state representative Shawn Dooley. But Dooley’s attempt to bring a historically inverted neighborhood back under Republican control ran outand Democrats will keep their 37-3 majority at the next Senate session.

No Republican has won any of the contested state races, and top party governor Geoff Diehl, a former Whitman state representative, had a decisive loss to Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey.

The shortcoming causes Diehl to score 0 points for 3 in his most recent election after failing to challenge U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren in 2018 (and 0 for 4 when he counts on his unsuccessful candidacy for Republican Party chairmanship).

The Republicans running for seats in Congress were also out of luck.

Only Republican District Attorney seeking re-election, Plymouth District Attorney Tim Cruz, he held on to his seat. But Republican Daniel Higgins lost to Democrat Robert Galibois in an open race for the position of chief prosecutor at the Cape and Islands office, reversing his position for the first time since 1970.

Voters in Bristol County, too made changes by supporting Attleboro Mayor Paul Heroux, a Democrat, Thomas Hodgson, who has been in power for over 25 years, is an outspoken conservative sheriff whose controversial policies made national news during his tenure.

GOP-backed efforts on Question 4, which asked voters whether the state should repeal a law that would allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driving licenses, also failed.

In conclusion, the lax grip of the ruling state party over the state levers of power has made it “continue to slide to almost completely insignificant” because CommonWealth magazine posted this earlier this week.

“I think the Republican Party is under water and will be for many years to come,” longtime GOP consultant Rob Gray He said WBUR.

Party divided

MassGOP’s domestic policy was shaky long before election day as party officials shared the extent to which they should adopt the type of republicanism of former President Donald Trump.

For example, party chairman Jim Lyons is an enthusiastic supporter of Trump, while leading party legislator moderate governor Charlie Baker backed Trump’s accusation in early 2021.

“Donald Trump kidnapped the National Republican Party and then kidnapped the Republican Party of Massachusetts,” Gray told WBUR. “Baker has lost control and Trump supporters have taken power.”

Backed by Trump, Diehl lost to Healey, who warned voters that Diehl would open Bay State to “Trumpism,” by almost 30-point margin.

Healey had a clear lead in the polls throughout the campaign cycle. One poll even showed that voters believe it more closely resembles Baker ideology and leadership style than Diehl – something where Republican voters apparently refused to take advantage of him, opting for him over Chris Doughty, the Wrentham businessman and first a candidate who was considered moderate. in the form of Baker.

Boston Herald columnist and conservative radio presenter Howie Carr, et al virulent column this weekhe begged Diehl to “go on the journey” – and take Lyons with him.

“Massachusetts will never be a Trump country, and especially not with the sound signal that the state’s GOP has degenerated under Lyons-Diehl,” Carr wrote, sometimes referring to the duo as the “d*ath cult” that remained. MassGOP on “life support”.

“One thing about Trump: he prefers winners over losers, and that should rule out any help or support for these inept stumbles,” Carr joked.

Lyons did not answer journalists’ questions as he left Diehl’s evening election, but argued earlier this fall that voters wanted to see Republicans clearly distinct from Democrats and willing to fight for their conservative principles, the WBUR reported.

“I think the people of Massachusetts want to see the Republican Party … don’t agree with everything the Democrats do,” Lyons said. “In Massachusetts, there must be a distinction between what the Democratic Party stands for and what the Republican Party stands for.”

Even so, some members of the state party committee last year found themselves at odds with Lyons, which even Baker said last year he should drop out after a series of controversy swept and split the party.

After the disappointing results of Tuesday’s elections, it became clear that there were still divisions.

The Leadership Debate

In fact, the losing votes this week have renewed the debate over what the MassGOP leadership should look like.

Lyons was the first to take charge of the party in early 2019 after losing his seat as a state representative in the previous year.

He did not say whether he would run for the seat again in January, according to Policywho was unable to contact the president for comment on Wednesday night.

(But Lyons sent an e-mail to committee members on Wednesday threatening to summon them to court as he brought a lawsuit against his party’s own treasurer, Patrick Crowley. The report claims that Crowley refused to authorize payments from the party’s bank account until committee members could sign off. on a new budget, WBUR reports.)

But state commission vice president Jay Fleitman wasted no time making it clear that he intended to run for a seat in Lyon next year.

“We need a major overhaul,” said Fleitman Politico. “We spend most of our energy fighting ourselves instead of doing what we need to do to be successful.”

In an email to fellow committee members, announcing his intention to run, Fleitman stressed that Republicans “have appallingly little of the political landscape in our state, and our Massachusetts party has made no contribution to the national struggle against destruction by the left wing of the Democrats.” , according to a political bulletin powered by SHNS MASSter list.

If members of party committees do not deal with their troops first, “we will remain in the political wasteland,” he wrote.

Amy Carnevale of the State Committee also told Politico that she was considering running for party chairman.

Asked Wednesday about his party’s leadership, Baker, whose days in office are now numbered, refused to take part in it.

At least until he leaves the corner office in January.

“The choices are about the people on the ticket,” he said. “The voters have spoken.”

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