Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Gabrieli Back In?

According to the Globe and the Herald, a group of Massachusetts Democrats are trying to get Chris Gabrieli on the ballot -- as a candidate for governor. To do so, they need to collect 500 signatures from convention delegates, although it's unclear whether they have to be from delegates elected at the caucuses specifically, or can be from ex officio delegates also. From the Globe:

Initially, party officials said yesterday the entire pool of delegates was eligible to sign. But the rules say the signatures must come from "elected convention delegates." The only elected delegates, 3,000 or 63 percent of the total, were those chosen at the Feb. 4 caucuses. The other 1,300 are designated delegates.

If he must get 500 signatures from the pool elected at the caucuses, Gabrieli supporters would face an uphill fight, because most of those delegates are already committed to Reilly or Patrick.
I'm not exactly sure how many uncommitted delegates are left, but I would definitely be surprised if there were more than 500 of them. Gabrieli is a popular figure among Massachusetts Dems, but how many people who have pledged to support a candidate already at the convention would be willing to sign up another one? I'm not sure if I would, myself. Generally, I like to help people get on the ballot, and in the downticket races I'll probably vote for the candidate I think is least likely to make 15% absent other strong feelings. That said, I feel particularly invested in Deval Patrick's candidacy, and I'm reluctant to do anything that might endanger it.

How would a Gabrieli candidacy effect the primary? It's hard for me to say. I can see him siphoning off votes from both candidates. In particular, his presence would be a reminder of Attorney General Tom Reilly's botched move in picking his running mate. In fact, in spurning Gabrieli at the last minute for the short-lived candidacy of Marie St. Fleur, Reilly may have inadvertently created a competitor.