As our July weather heats up later this week and as we await the start of Democratic and GOP conventions, look for a heat-up on the Merrimack Valley campaign front. The presumptive Democratic nominee for President Hillary Clinton has a big event planned for Portsmouth NH on Tuesday. Expect many Mass Democrats especially from the Merrimack Valley to participate… for those on the Bernie Sanders watch – he may chose to do his “endorsement” of Clinton “there and then.” New Hampshire is a targeted state for Clinton and the Dems… a Hillary Clinton / Maggie Hassan win along with success with other down ballot slots are high on the political to-do list…. so we will be seeing lots of ads in our market into the Fall and much cross-border activity…. you know how they like our Massachusetts money and our foot soldiers. On another political front…. my own State Senator Barbara L’Italien is a designated-GOP target in this campaign cycle. Her Second Essex Middlesex District includes the City of Lawrence and the towns of Andover, Dracut and Tewksbury – hardly a hotbed for liberal progressives. The Eagle-Tribune hammers the hard-working, experienced and productive L’Italien constantly… today the waters are stirred over her budget amendment to extend the freeze on municipal retiree health insurance costs… the GOP Governor is cooperating by vetoing that section of the budget containing the delay-amendment… a majority vote of the Andover BOS is playing a big role in this issue… pitting retirees against other taxpayers is not a new tactic. Whether there is much support for L’Italien’s inexperienced GOP opponent Susan LaPlante – whose husband is on the Lawrence City Council – is in serious question. She’s a Baker devotee who tried but failed to unseat Tewksbury’s Ruth Chou on the GOP State Committee. Baker didn’t have wide-spread success in his GOP State Committee takeover effort. Ah, the political intrigue.
State Senator Barbara L’Italien addressing supporters at a campaign event. (personal photo)
Perhaps, supporters hope for a coat-tail effect from Trump or 18th Essex District GOP State Rep incumbent Jim Lyons – the former Ted Cruz point man in the Valley. Lyons has his own challenger in Democrat Oscar Carmago, an Army veteran, who seems more than willing to confront the issues and the incumbent.
So, add-in the return of Anne Wofford of Haverhill as a GOP challenger to Third District Democratic Congresswoman Niki Tsongas and the challenge to first term State Rep. Rady Mom in the 18th Middlesex and the Merrimack Valley can’t help but be a hot-bed of political activity – a banquet for political junkies! Stay-tuned!