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.