WORCESTER – Republicans attended the Massachusetts GOP Convention in Worcester on Saturday and endorsed Governor Charlie Baker for re-election with almost 70 percent of the vote.
The Framingham delegation was overwhelmingly in support of re-electing Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, despite the state Republican Party electing two individuals to be on the ballot for Governor in the September primary.
“Charlie Baker and Karyn Polito have done a great job by working with everyone to make things better,” said Ed McGrath of Framingham. “From confronting the state’s budget issues without raising taxes, improving DCF and the MBTA, and taking down the Turnpike tolls and improving the commuter rail station, they have made the lives of people in Framingham better. They have earned 4 more years.”
In October of 2017, a Morning Consult survey found 69 percent of Massachusetts voters approve of Governor Baker’s job performance. That support put him ahead of America’s 49 other Governors.
“Charlie Baker and Karyn Polito have done a great job for Massachusetts, and being Republicans in a one-party state it’s not easy, but they have figured out how to work collaboratively for best practices by bringing people to the center, in order to move the ball forward,” said Janet Leombruno, an elected Republican state party woman from Framingham.
“It’s how you do it, and it’s working as Massachusetts continues to lead by example, that’s why Charlie Baker is the most popular governor in America,” said Leombruno.
This as not Leombruno’s first convention, as she was part of the team that helped Baker-Polito get elected by a narrow margin in November 2014.
“The convention has high energy with lots of enthusiasm. It was especially nice seeing so many new faces, especially the college students who came back home to serve as delegates,’ said Leombruno.
One of those college students was former Framingham High class president Jake Binnall, now a students at UMass Amherst.
“Having the opportunity to attend this year’s convention as a delegate was really amazing,” said Binnall. “After coming in 2014, as a 15-year-old, who was relatively new to politics, and being inspired bu the fiscally responsible yet socially-inclusive vision of Charlie Baker and Karyn Polito, I knew I wanted to continue my engagement with politics.”
For over four years now, Binnall said he has been “working to get like-minded candidates elected and I enthusiastically supported them at this past convention. I’m so excited to see them continue fighting for the Commonwealth. I was also so excited to see that this year’s convention also had an incredible amount of young Republicans. It shows how our state party is growing. We;re continuing to push an agenda that works here and me and many other young people see that. I see Governor Baker’s message and it encapsulates a lot of what I stand for. I’m looking forward to getting him for 4 more years.”
Besides new young Republicans there were several other first-timers from Framingham, who attended the convention. One of them was Karen Duffy.
“I’d just say that this was my first convention, and it was a great experience. I’d encourage people to get involved with any level of government – in any capacity,” said Duffy. “Meet your representatives, ask questions, make suggestions, to any office or party. be informed and vote.”
Duffy had an opportunity to meet Governor Baker and even took a selfie with him.
“This weekend I attended my first ever GOP convention at the DCU Center. It was an educational and fun experience,” said Framingham resident Sheryl Goldstein. “I am in full support of Governor Baker and Karyn Polito’s re-election campaign. They have both earned my respect by their common sense approach to governing the Commonwealth. This resonates strongly with me and my family. It is no surprise that Governor Baker is the most popular governor in the United States.”
Goldstein and her husband also both had an opportunity to meet the Governor at the convention.
One of the speakers at the convention was Mary Zarrilli Connaughton of Framingham. A delegate, she made the nomination speech for Keiko Orrall, a state representative running for state treasurer.
“It was inspiring to see so many people geared up to support Governor Baker’s efforts to make Massachusetts an even better state,” said Connaughton.
The convention was not completely a Baker celebration.
Scott Lively, an ultra-conservative pastor from Springfield made the Republican ballot for Governor.
Republicans will choose between Baker and Lively in September, with the winner facing the Democratic, and other party challengers in November.
Baker supporters tried to prevent Lively from getting the 15 percent of the delegates he needed to get his name on the primary ballot in September.
However, Lively received votes from 626 delegates, representing 27.67 percent of the vote.
Baker received 1,577 delegate votes or 69.79 percent and the convention endorsement.
Fifty-eight delegates registered “no preference.”
“Charlie Baker, you’re not going to get away with being a Democrat anymore in the Republican Party,” Lively told reporters after the vote.
Lively has made strong anti-gay statements and wrote that homosexuals controlled the German Nazi Party.
“There’s no place or point in political life, or any life, for much of what Scott Lively says or believes,” said Governor Baker.