Now that the Chair of the Massachusetts Republican Party has announced she is stepping down from her position, potential leaders are emerging.
Kirsten Hughes, a Quincy city councilor, announced in an email Nov. 16 she would not be seeking a fourth term this January.
Since her announcement, it remains to be seen which direction the party will go.
Will Committee members choose an established, more moderate leader for the party—from what some call the Charlie Baker wing? Or will it choose a more conservative, Trump supporting chair?
The decision could have a lasting impact on the future success of the state party.
Candidates are already announcing their bids to run, including Brent Andersen, Treasurer of the State Republican Party for the past 15 years.
“I’ve been there during good times and bad so I understand the keys to what happens in terms of fundraising and operations end of the party,” Anderson said.
At least one other candidate is officially in the race: Spencer State Representative Peter Durant. He says he has the track record and experience necessary to bring the party together.
Republican State Committeeman Dennis Galvin is behind a third possible candidate, state representative Geoff Diehl who just lost a U.S. Senate race to Elizabeth Warren. Diehl, cochair of the 2016 Trump campaign says he is still making a decision.
Galvin said the party, “needs leadership, they need better messaging and they need organization. They don’t have it right now.”
Former state party chair Jennifer Nassour says most important for the new leader is a thorough understanding of the state committee. A Trump critic, Nassour says Diehl is not the right choice given Trump’s unpopularity in the state.
“The last thing that the Massachusetts Republican Party needs is to have the stigma of being the party of Trump.
Galvin says the party needs to speak to working people on state issues like transportation and the economy.
When asked if Republicans are on the same page on these issues, Galvin responded, “Not at this time. All right, which is the challenge for the new chairman.”
Andover State Representative Jim Lyons, who just lost his seat, has also expressed interest in running.
If Republicans agree on anything it’s that they need find common ground and unite in 2019.