Former state representative Jim Lyons has been re-elected as chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party. Lyons has his work cut out for him. Republicanism is about as rare in Massachusetts as an Ed Markey or Liz Warren sighting.

The Massachusetts Republican Party lost five legislative seats during 2020. How is that possible when you have a Republican president and a Republican governor? It happens when no one organizes a sales staff to go out and sell the party's vision to the masses. When the other side is better organized, motivated, and more energized, it will always prevail.

Jim Lyons, like GOP leaders before him, appears to be more comfortable firing rhetorical broadsides at Democrats via email and press releases.

Lyons' recent statements criticizing Democrats for lining up for the COVID vaccine were ridiculous since Republican lawmakers did the same thing. Lyons, also blasting Democrats over the legislative pay raise, failed to mention that the raise was recommended by Republican Governor Charlie Baker and will benefit Republican lawmakers, too.

The public hates this stuff. The people want substance. They want results.

If the Republican Party is ever to regain a foothold in Massachusetts again, it needs to win the battle of ideas. The party needs to articulate its positions, have the guts to defend them, and go out and sell them.

The GOP must focus on recruitment at the grassroots level. In other words, get out beyond the 495 beltway and find attractive candidates. Lyons cannot wait for candidates to find him. He has to go out and look for them.

The Massachusetts Republican Party has a significant challenge ahead of it. It can't meet that challenge if party leaders are content to fire silly verbal salvos from behind a keyboard.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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