The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, February 8, 2002


Democrats back Reich candidacy

Candidates pledged to support former U.S. secretary of labor Robert Reich as the party's nominee for governor of the Commonwealth swept the delegate slate at the Carlisle Democratic Party caucus February 2. An unprecedented 50 participants packed the third-floor conference room and spilled out into the hallway at the First Religious Society to name three delegates who will join chair Cynthia Schweppe at the Democratic state convention in Worcester.

At this stage in the quadrennial horserace, there are five Democrats vying for the gubernatorial nod. They are state senate president Tom Birmingham, former national party chair Steve Grossman, state treasurer Shannon O'Brien, Reich, and former state representative and candidate for lieutenant governor Warren Tolman. All five had some supporters present but came up short in the balloting.

The successful Reich delegates named at the local caucus were Anne Marks, Bennett Marks and Steve Pearlman; their alternates will be Aaron Abend, Caren Ponty and Esther Ratner. All contenders were asked to reveal their second choices should their candidate withdraw for any reason, but there was no consistency in the replies.

Convention delegates selected here and in caucuses across the state will come together at the Worcester Centrum on May 31 and June 1 to endorse the official party nominee. However, any non-endorsed candidate who can garner at least 15 percent of the convention vote will be eligible to appear on the primary ballot in September along with the endorsee. It will then be up to registered Democratic voters statewide to either agree or disagree with the convention's nominee or to choose an alternative candidate from those listed on the ballot. The latter outcome would not be unprecedented ­ witness the John Silber primary victory in 1994.

Schweppe closed the meeting by thanking the participants for their enthusiasm, commenting, "I think it's wonderful to have so many people from all age brackets come out on an icy Saturday morning, and I hope you will stay involved in Democratic party activities in Carlisle during this important election year." The caucus registrars, who were forced to refuse entrance to several voters who had failed to record a return to their Democratic party affiliation after a one-time switch during the year 2000 primary season, asked that the Mosquito remind others in that situation to remedy it in a visit to the town clerk if they wish to vote in the September Democratic primary.

2002 The Carlisle Mosquito