Mayor Pete Has an Opportunity in Massachusetts [OPINION]
The Massachusetts primary to be the next Democratic Party candidate for the Oval Office is an opportunity for Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana.
On March 3, 2020, the voters of Massachusetts will vote in presidential primaries. The rules in Massachusetts allow for voters who are not registered in a political party to select which party primary they will vote in at that moment. Registered Democrats and Republicans can only vote in their selected party primary. The vast majority of voters in Massachusetts are not aligned with a party and therefore they have the freedom to select the party ballot they want on March 3.
Mayor Pete has a case to make to the Democrats and the non-party aligned voters of Massachusetts. He went to college in Massachusetts. As the new mayor of South Bend, he hired a new chief of police. That chief was Ron Teachman, a New Bedford police officer who rose through the ranks to become the chief of his department. Buttigieg has a great working relationship with Mayor Jon Mitchell of New Bedford and a strong fundraising network across the Commonwealth.
Mayor Pete volunteered to serve his country as an officer in the Navy. There are lots of people in Massachusetts who appreciate a guy from Harvard volunteering for military service during a war.
Mayor Pete is gay and he is married to a man. Massachusetts is open to electing gay men and women. It isn't even an issue in Massachusetts. Congressman Barney Frank was elected overwhelmingly for decades. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has been elected multiple times statewide as an openly gay person. The state legalized same-sex marriage long ago. The Massachusetts Republican Party has nominated and elected numerous openly gay candidates since at least the 1990s.
At some point, Mayor Pete is going to have to introduce his spouse to America, and Massachusetts could be the perfect location outside of his own city to do so.
Given the current Democratic field of candidates with Massachusetts roots, Mayor Pete can win even if he loses, much the way Bill Clinton did in 1992 in New Hampshire.
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.