My wife Celeste and I just returned from the 2018 Massachusetts Republican Convention on Saturday, at the DCU Center in Worcester. There, I met Darius Mitchell, a young man of color looking to run against Senator Elizabeth Warren.

The Convention's primary role is to endorse statewide candidates for nomination ahead of the state primary election in September 2018. Candidates who receive a majority of delegate votes at the convention are considered the endorsed candidate of the Republican Party. Candidates must attain 15 percent of the delegates' vote on any ballot in order to qualify for ballot access for the state primary election.

Darius Mitchell, from Lynn, came out on stage to convince the delegates to vote for him over candidates with more name recognition and experience in politics. With a handful of small index cards for reference, Darius started his eight-minute pitch reciting some rhyming hip hop lyrics that blended into addressing real problems facing major cities of the Commonwealth. Mentioning New Bedford a couple of times, I thought silently that I was actually listening to a refreshing and additional voice and face of the Massachusetts Republican Party.

Apparently everyone else was in symphony with my sentiments. Even though he fell short of the 15 percent mark, Darius Mitchell, who just the day before was thinking about what exactly to say as he rode the side of the garbage truck he works on, was met with a thunderous, deafening and high-spirited standing ovation that brought tears of pride to my eyes.

Keep an eye out for Darius Mitchell. And keep in mind the MassGOP has so many more opportunities for people of color than other parties, because we don't believe in entitlement politics, like America saw with Hillary Clinton. One look at the diversity of MassGOP candidates and office holders should send a clear message to people of color: Don't be afraid to start as a Republican, because it's a brand new opportunity to rebuild what you truly want!

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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