It’s The Establishment vs. Progressives In Special House Race

There’s an election in two weeks, in case you didn’t know.

There’s an election in Boston two weeks from today, and you’re not alone if you weren’t aware of that fact. Joshua Dawson and Jay Livingstone are the Democratic candidates in a special election to fill the 8th Suffolk vacancy in the state  house of representatives, created when Marty Walz left to head up Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts. The primary is May 28th, and that’s the decider because Moses wouldn’t top 35 percent as a Republican nominee in the Back Bay/Beacon Hill/Cambridge district.

Today two big, big unions endorsed Dawson: the Massachusetts Nurses Association and the Massachusetts Teachers Association. Dawson already has firefighters, government employees (NAGE), steel workers, carpenters, and electrical workers on his side, as well as endorsements from the state treasurer, state auditor, and city councilors in Boston and Cambridge.

But Livingstone has the backing of liberal and progressive groups, including Mass Alliance, Progressive Democrats of Massachusetts, Progressive Massachusetts, Sierra Club, and SEIU 615 (a liberal-leaning union).

So it’s shaping up as something of an establishment vs. progressives race.

It’s hard to say whether any of that will matter. The oddly timed special election comes the day after Memorial Day, in between the US Senate special election primary and general elections (not to mention as the mayoral election is heating up, along with an open city council district seat race in the same area)—and besides, people there have been a little distracted by the marathon bombing that happened right in the heart of the district.

So, most people I’ve talked to expect the Dawson-Livingstone election to come down to who personally shook hands with more of the few diehard voters who will actually show up two weeks from today.

But I’m sure that won’t stop the endorsers from taking credit for whichever man wins.

  • DoTheJob

    Funny, I thought it was old Boston politics vs. new. Everyone supporting your so-called “progressive” candidate is from the old guard of Mass left-wing politics.

    Bernstein, you should know this, what do we call the dysfunctional left of the Democratic party, the left wing equivalent of the “Tea Party”? The ones who can’t ever get anything done, because there’s no popular support for their extreme policies? There has to be something more clever than “Progressive.” Well, in any case, that’s what it is. The Tea Party of the Left.

    But I have to admit, your “Progressive” sure will fit right in with the boys at the Mass State House, with all the other lawyers. Check out the Facebook page and website of the Law-Office-of-James-D-Livingstone for info on such useful topics as ““No Fix” Defense For All Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Infractions, Including Drunk Driving (OUI, DUI, DWI)” or “Common Questions Regarding Drunk Driving”.

    So maybe he can work with the Representative from Chelsea to keep Mass safe and lucrative for attorneys too. He knows how to get the job done.

  • ohio man

    I’m not sure that’s how the race translates on the ground, as there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of daylight between them on the issues or how they will vote in the State House. It seems to come down to who can more vigorously support some local pet issues. Both are Back Bay residents and involved with the ward committee, although Livingstone got their endorsement. Livingstone sounds like more of an anti-development NIMBY (despite claiming to want to help keep middle class families in Boston), raising the perennial Manhattan-ization of Back Bay canard, and supports getting rid of the BRA.