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O’Malley: No Place for Keefe’s Extreme Agenda in 15th District

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

 

Republican State Rep. candidate Brian O'Malley had harsh words for his newly-minted Democratic opponent in Worcester's 15th District on Monday.

Mary Keefe emerged victorious from the field of five Democrats in last week's primary election despite the fact that she was the only candidate to run a campaign that supported tax increases.

"Raising taxes and more government regulations are not goign to stimulate the economy," O'Malley said.

"They're going to strangle it."

O'Malley described Keefe's platform as an "extreme special interest agenda" in a press release from his campaign.

He pointed out that nearly 62 percent of voters cast their ballot for a Democratic candidate other than Keefe in the rare Thursday primary.

Voter turnout was exceptionally low for the contest, and Keefe's winning 38.52 percent represented just 961 votes.

O'Malley also noted that many of Keefe's campaign donations came from outside groups and labor unions.

According to a pre-primary report filed with the state's Office of Campaign and Political Finance, Keefe received $5,550 from labor groups, compared to the $550 City Councilor Kate Toomey collected and the $750 that went to School Committee member Dianna Biancheria.

"I don't have a problem with labor unions," O'Malley said, "but that's a lot of money for one candidate."

Dems Looking Forward to Coming Together

Candy Mero-Carlson, chair of the Worcester Democratic City Committee (WDCC), said the idea that Keefe's views are extreme is greatly exaggerated.

"I don't believe that one iota, that Mary Keefe's agenda doesn't fit with the Democratic party's agenda."

The WDCC has scheduled a Democratic Unity Breakfast and Canvass event for this Saturday at Coral Seafood on Shrewsbury Street.

Aside from canvassing for candidates such as Senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren, State Rep. Jim O'Day and State Senator Mike Moore, Carlson said the event is also intended to help city Democrats regroup and unify behind the party's nominee for the post-primary stretch of election season.

Toomey said she will definitely continue to be involved in the WDCC even though she did not win the chance to represent the party and district on Beacon Hill.

The five-way primary contest displayed a wide range of positions within the Democratic party, and the challenge going forward will be finding a way to represent all of them.

"I'm not quite sure where people can meet, but I hope that there is some place that they can meet to move forward," Toomey said.

Campaign Addresses Party Unity

Keefe is away this week to take some time off from the camapaign trail, said Campaign Manager Kevin Ksen, and she was unavailable for comment on Monday.

However, when asked on Friday about how she would bring the party together, Keefe said the focus would be on strengthening relationships and that several members of Biancheria's team had already pledged their support to her campaign.

"That's just so great that we had this tough race, a close race, and we can see ourselves really working together as we go forward."

Ksen said he had not detected any hurdles or resistance to working together within the party.

"I'm honestly not anxious about it," he said. 

 

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