Massachusetts GOP Has a Decision to Make [OPINION]
The contest to become the next Chair of the Massachusetts Republican Party is a three-way race as of now. All three candidates are solid, but one stands out.
Quincy City Councilor Kirsten Hughes has decided not to seek another two-year term as the head of her party. She has some successes to be proud of in her political career. She helped elected a little-known state senator, Scott Brown, to the U.S. Senate seat that had been owned by Ted Kennedy for decades. She was elected to the helm of the Mass GOP in 2013. During her tenure, she helped elect and re-elect Charlie Baker to the governor's office.
Now the party has to decide who is the best-equipped individual to lead them for the next two years. The current choice is between the party's current treasurer, Brent Andersen, State Representative Peter J. Durant, and State Representative Geoff Diehl.
The candidate with the name everyone in the Massachusetts GOP knows is Diehl. The businessman gave up his seat in the State House to run for the U.S. Senate against liberal icon Elizabeth Warren. He had to first defeat two highly-qualified opponents, first at the state party convention and then again in the state primary.
Diehl was a co-chair of Donald J. Trump's presidential campaign in the Bay State. Baker refused to assist Trump and has had hostile words for the president since he took his seat in the Oval Office. Having a friend in the White House is important for fundraising, and Diehl has demonstrated his loyalty to the president.
To win the convention and the primary, Diehl had to build a vast network of motivated supporters. He crisscrossed the Commonwealth, first to roll back the automatic gas tax increase, then to help elect Trump, and again in his race for the U.S. Senate.
The party needs to increase its strength in the State House and in local town government. The folks who Diehl has worked with across the state are the future candidates the party needs to run for office. The party has a major problem recruiting candidates to run, never mind win.
The State Committee members will make the decision in January. This decision could turn out to be one of the major milestones in the Massachusetts GOP's history.
Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.