Former Democratic Boston Mayor Raymond Flynn has endorsed Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown in his re-election campaign.
WBUR's Fred Thys just reported for our Newscast unit:
Flynn is from South Boston, and his endorsement came at lunchtime [today] in front of a classic South Boston locale: Sullivan's at Castle Island. Flynn endorsed George W. Bush over Al Gore in 2000, but he says that was an exception.
"It's true that I've been a lifelong Democrat, and I've supported Democrats most of my life," Flynn said. "I believe in the Democratic Party, but this election is very, very special. This election is about putting the United States back on the right track."
As The Hill notes, Flynn also backed Brown when Brown beat Democrat Martha Coakley to win his Senate seat. The Springfield Republican additionally reported earlier this month that Flynn is supporting presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney in the presidential race.
Fred added that Flynn recently sided with Brown — and against President Obama — over whether Catholic hospitals and universities should have to provide employees with health coverage for contraception.
After serving as Boston's mayor, Flynn became the United States' ambassador to the Vatican.
The Boston Globe reports that former Worcester Mayor Konnie Lukes, another conservative Democrat, is also endorsing Brown.
Update at 4:25 p.m.: In a statement, a Massachusetts Democratic Party spokesman said the party isn't "surprised" by the endorsements.
"Former Boston Mayor Ray Flynn and former Worcester Mayor Lukes are part of a group of Massachusetts political leaders who register as Democrats but regularly support Republican candidates and Republican policies," the spokesman said.
This program aired on April 30, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.