| The election for the the next Chair of the Massachusetts Republican Party is less than two weeks away. So far it has been a spirited and civil debate with two main challengers emerging at this time, Kirsten Hughes and Rick Green. Both have spoken of the need to grow the Party by reaching out to groups that have not been strongholds for the Mass GOP, including urban areas, minorities, younger voters, etc. This is particularly important as the Mass GOP has recently been stronger in certain areas (South Coast) and some have questioned if the Party has focused on these areas too much to the detriment of other areas. That being a concern for some as well as an area on which both candidates have indicated that they intend to focus if elected, I thought that I would take a look at the geographical breakdown of State Committee member endorsements to see if there is any patter.
The endorsements by region so far, based on Facebook and website posting through this afternoon are (UN = Undecided):
Region 1 (West): Kirsten 4; Rick 7; UN 1
Region 2 (Worcester): Kirsten 6; Rick 8; UN 4
Region 3 (North): Kirsten 4; Rick 9; UN 3
Region 4 (Greater Boston): Kirsten 6; Rick 7; UN 5
Region 5 (Souh): Kirsten 10; Rick 2; UN 4
Total: Kirsten 30: Rick 33; UN 17
The first thought I have is that this a very tight race which will likely go down to the wire.
The next observation is that Kirsten is very strong in the relative strongholds of the MAGOP, South Coast and Worcester. One possible reason for her success in these areas is that her prior work with the Party has put her in touch with more people in these regions due to MAGOP having more electoral success there. This contrasts with Rick who has what appears to be more widespread support with his endorsements more spread about the 5 regions also as indicated by him having a plurality of the endorsements of State Committee members in 4 of the 5 regions and a majority in 2 regions.
So, does geography matter? Should it affect how a State Committee member votes on the 31st? Should it affect how the MAGOP approaches its strategies for growth and resource allocation for 2014?
The question won't be answered with the election of the next MAGOP Chair on the 31st or will it?