Worcester’s District 16 Special Election Preview: Claros v Donahue
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
The final election pits two newcomers to elected office and each with deep Worcester roots, against each other. The Republican contender, Carol Claros, is a single mother and nurse, a graduate of Worcester's North High School and Montachusett Regional Vocational Tech in Fitchburg, and was unchallenged in her party for the nomination. The Democratic challenger, a Holy Cross alum who emerged from the August primary with the nomination, Dan Donahue brings a background in campaigns and policy for various local politicians, including former Lt. Governor Tim Murray and Worcester Mayor Joe Petty.
In a race considered very close by insiders, both candidates have picked up substantial endorsements up until the final days of working Worcester's sidewalks as well as the telephone. Most recently, Claros earned the support of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, while Donahue was endorsed by NARAL, a pro-choice organization.
GoLocalWorcester consulted a spectrum of political commentators, academics and organizers for their assessment of the day, and outcome.
David Schaefer, Professor of Political Science, College of the Holy Cross
Given the politics of the state and the district, the Democrat Dan Donohue of course has to be heavily favored over Carol Claros. Nonetheless, one might think that voters, upset over rising taxes and the mediocre
Robert Eno, Red Mass Group
This is a tough district for a Republican to win. The Republican high-water mark was Scott Brown in his 2010 special election. Brown got 39% of the vote. Carol Claros, however, is not your typical Republican. She grew up in Worcester, knows the residents of this district, many personally, and has been an active member of the community for many years. She is connecting with these residents who are starting to see a clear choice between business as usual on Beacon Hill, represented by her machine endorsed Democratic opponent, and Carol who offers a fresh voice and will not be beholden to the will of Party bosses. There is a strong possibility that we will see an upset of epic proportions on September 10, 2013.
David LeBoeuf, Interim Director, The Initiative for Engaged Citzenship
While the race appears to have been quiet since the primary, both candidates are taking this election very seriously and have been running extremely robust campaigns. Since day one Dan Donahue has had a grassroots focus, and this certainly will pay off on Election Day. The numerous candidates in the primary only strengthened the Democratic party, not fractured it, and I see this as a decisive victory for Dan. Unfortunately due to the odd timing I do not expect there to be a large turnout, and probably will see voters going to the polls than we did in the primary.
Brad Wyatt, Republican Activist
I'm really excited to see a female Hispanic represent and articulate the benefits in terms of jobs, education, and safety consistent with the Republican Party views of smaller, more transparent efficient government.
I'm thrilled with the effort Ms. Claros has made to put her job-creating ideas out in the public domain while she competes in a tough political campaign against a well, connected, politically savvy opponent, who can afford to take a leave of absence from his job at City Hall to campaign.
Worcester wins when there is civil debate, not just amongst the candidates, but driven by the campaigns unto the coffeehouses, and dinner tables of the district, as citizens can discuss the problems facing our city, and the potential solutions. Very glad to see a contested campaign for a change.
Tom Finneran, Former Speaker, Massachusetts House of Representatives
The Massachusetts economy is not good and people are very anxious about their economic security. The candidate who most successfully addresses such economic anxieties will have an edge with the voters. And the candidate with the best field organization will harvest votes all day long as their organization breaks through the difficulties and distractions associated with special elections---i.e.---confused voters who don't fully realize that there is an election underway.
Chris Pinto, Treasurer, Worcester Republican City Committee
Hopefully voters will support the fresh face who is only obligated to the people of Worcester not the insiders. It is time to elect a woman who knows how to manage a family budget. She is the only candidate against taxes and that is being well received by voters. We are very energized. It will be a tight race.
Michael Graham, Host of The Natural Trust radio show
Democrats are right when they say this district is a tough one for a Republican to win. But they also haven’t given voters any reason to vote Democrat. Another political insider who can’t wait to collect his per diem? Been there, done that. Voting for Carol Claros, on the other hand, is a one-two punch against the Beacon Hill good ol’ boy network. It helps bring a little balance to state government and sends someone to represents Worcester’s working families who actually works for a living.
If the Democrat machine delivers, then this election was over before it started. But if hard work by a smart candidate can win this race, it will go to Carol Claros.
- BREAKING: Facebook Page Created Calling for Rep. Fresolo to Resign
- Democratic Candidates Vie at Forum for Open Fresolo Seat
- EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Fresolo’s Opponent Drops Out of Race
- Elected Officials Unwilling to Speak Out on Fresolo Allegations
- Fresolo Investigation: How Transparent is MA Government?
- NEW: Representative Fresolo Resigns
- NEW: State Rep. John Fresolo Under Investigation for Explicit Photos
- MA State Rep Candidate Claros Praised By ‘Rabid Republican’
- NEW: Claros Officially Kicks-Off Campaign for State Rep
- NEW: Claros Opposed to Tax Package
- NEW: Claros Pledges Not To Accept Per Diems
- NEW: Worcester 16th District Candidate Claros Wins Key Endorsement
- Donahue - Petty Staffer Wins Democratic Primary for 16th
- NEW: Donahue Calls for Slots Funds to go to Route 20 Improvements
- NEW: Donahue Wins Worcester 16th District State Rep Dem. Primary