OPINION | Chris McCarthy: Treasurer’s Race Getting Exciting
The political race for Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts just became more interesting, with the Green Party fielding a candidate.
The Treasurer of Massachusetts, Deb Goldberg, has all the advantages a Bay State candidate can wish to possess. It helps that she also earned most of those advantages. She is a Democrat in a heavily Democrat state with a Republican president who motivates Democrats. She has an undergrad degree from Boston University, a law degree from Boston College and the coveted MBA from Harvard University. She has personal wealth without any of the problems that sometimes come with inherited wealth. She has used her office to educate her constituents on the practical importance of saving money for the future. She is scandal-free in the era of constant scandal.
Her Republican challenger is State Representative Keiko Orrall of Lakeville. Rep. Orrall is a graduate of Smith College and serious person with an incredible level of energy. She has risen to the top ranks of her party and sits aside Ron Kaufman, a man who is trusted by presidents and CEOs on the Republican National Committee. Rep. Orrall earned her election to the governing body of the RNC by first earning the respect of leaders like Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito in Massachusetts.
In a straight race between an incumbent Democrat and a Republican challenger in the Bay State, the race goes to the incumbent Democrat almost always.
This might be a different year.
Both of the women in the race are experienced and qualified candidates, and the state is lucky to have them in public service. An under-reported story is that the majority of statewide elected officials in Massachusetts are women.
The wild card in this election is Jamie Guerin of Northampton, who is a Green-Rainbow Party candidate for treasurer. She is the membership director of her party and worked for Dr. Jill Stein's presidential campaign. The Green-Rainbow party has statewide ballot access in Massachusetts and appeals to the Bernie Sanders wing of the Democrat party with a message of social and environmental justice.
The Green-Rainbow party has the important state ballot line because of Ralph Nader. Many Democrats still blame Nader for the election of George W. Bush to the Oval Office in 2001, and many Republicans quietly toast him for the same reason. In 2001, Ralph Nader earned seven percent of the vote in Massachusetts, and that is why Jamie Guerin will be among the major party candidates (if she gets the required signatures) in November.
If Republican Charlie Baker remains the most popular governor in America, and the Greens draw five percent of the vote from the liberal base, we very well may see an upset as Rep. Keiko Orrall becomes the new Treasurer of Massachusetts.
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.