Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Herald: Reilly to Annoint his Lieutenant?

Blue Mass. Group has made it their mission to shed some light on the 2006 Lieutenant Governor's race, but if this Herald report is right, it might not make any difference. Sources are telling the Herald that Attorney General Tom Reilly, the 2006 Democratic frontrunner for the nomination, may plan to pick his running mate. Of course, whoever Reilly taps (if he even ends up doing so) will still have to win the primary, but if Reilly wins and most Reilly voters follow his advice, he'll likely end up getting the candidate he wants, particularly in such a normally low-profile race. In 2002, both of the victorious candidates did this and both got the LG they supported; Shannon O'Brien picked Chris Gabrielli who got just shy of 50% of the vote in a three person race and Mitt Romney reneged on his promise to stay neutral and backed Kerry Healey who trounced Jim Rappaport by nearly thirty points. Personally, I can understand why a candidate would want to control the process -- after all, the President gets to pick his running mate, why not a Governor? On the other hand, and the article points this out, someone who wins the Lieutenant Governor's race on their own is likely to have a statewide campaign network and supporters that the winning gubernatorial candidate can leverage in the general election, particularly since the primary is so close to the general. If the candidates run as a team from the beginning, they don't get this shot of new blood.