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Mass. Democrats Endorse Gonzalez, Palfrey And Zakim At Convention

Democratic candidate for governor Jay Gonzalez waves after speaking during the 2018 Massachusetts Democratic Party Convention (Michael Dwyer/AP)MoreCloseclosemore
Democratic candidate for governor Jay Gonzalez waves after speaking during the 2018 Massachusetts Democratic Party Convention (Michael Dwyer/AP)

Knowing they have an uphill battle to unseat Gov. Charlie Baker in the fall, Massachusetts Democratic Party delegates have endorsed Jay Gonzalez.

Despite picking up 70 percent of the delegates who voted in Worcester on Saturday, Gonzalez still has to defeat progressive party activist Bob Massie. Massie came away from the convention with 30 percent of the vote, well above the 15 percent he needed to ensure a place on the Sept. 4 primary ballot.

"Let's aim high, Democrats," Gonzalez told the 6,200 delegates who gathered in a somewhat humid DCU Center. He argued that Baker has not done enough for "the little guy," and criticized him for his silence on President Trump's actions.

"Baker hides behind the chaos Trump creates. He hopes we’ll lower our expectations and simply be grateful he isn’t crazy like our president," said Gonzalez, striking a common theme heard at the convention. "Well, Charlie, you can’t hide from us! We are pulling back the curtain on your failed leadership! We expect more from our governor! Not being crazy is not good enough!"

Massie also put the Republican Baker in his cross-hairs.

"Charlie Baker is not Trump. He does not say hurtful things," said Massie. "It is what he does not say that shows the emptiness of his heart and the lack of his spine."

No matter who gets the nomination in September, the Democrat is likely to be at a huge financial disadvantage compared to the campaign of Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, which as of May 30 had close to $12 million in its campaign war chest.

Delegates also endorsed first-time candidate Quentin Palfrey for lieutenant governor with 59 percent of the vote. Palfrey, once an adviser to former President Obama, beat political humorist Jimmy Tingle. Tingle still secured enough votes to appear on the ballot in September.

In the secretary of state's race, Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim picked up 54.8 percent of the vote, securing himself the party nomination over longtime incumbent Bill Galvin, who has served in the office since 1995.

"At the convention, I made the decision to ask the delegates that were uncommitted to go with Josh Zakim," Boston Mayor Marty Walsh told WBUR Sunday. "Josh is a good progressive candidate. Nothing against the secretary, he's a good person, but I think Josh earned the support," Walsh said.

As of Sunday, Walsh has not officially endorsed Zakim for secretary of state.

On Friday night, delegates heard from the four candidates who are uncontested in the primary: state Auditor Suzanne Bump, state Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, Attorney General Maura Healey and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

In making her pitch for a second term, Warren told delegates she's proud of the progress that's been made taking on the powerful in Washington.

"Mitch McConnell can’t shut me up. The Koch Brothers can’t buy me off. Donald Trump’s racist tweets won’t scare me off," Warren told the crowd. "And if you think I get under their skin now, just you wait."

In the Republican primary, Geoff Diehl, John Kingston and Beth Lindstrom are each vying for the nomination in the hopes of running against Warren this November.

With reporting by WBUR's Simón Rios

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Steve Brown Twitter Reporter/Anchor
Steve Brown is a veteran broadcast journalist who serves as WBUR's State House reporter.

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