Saturday, February 09, 2013

I Love It When The Democratic Bench Rocks-- Mass. State Rep Carl Sciortino Decalres For Markey's House Seat


I can't wait to tell you about Carl Sciortino but since he announced for Congress yesterday, let's hear directly from him first:
“I am running to continue the strong progressive leadership that the families of the Fifth District have always counted on. I look forward to bringing my record of accomplishment to Washington to fight for our progressive values.

“I am proud to call Ed Markey my Congressman and I am dedicated to helping elect him as our next U.S. Senator. His record on behalf of Massachusetts families-- fighting for jobs, consumers’ rights, and a healthier environment-- is the kind of leadership Massachusetts needs in the Senate and it is a record I look forward to continuing in Congress.”
OK, so why is he special? He graduated from Tufts in 2000 and then got a masters from the Kennedy School at Harvard, before taking on a conservative, powerful homophobic incumbent, Vincent Ciampa, in the 2004 Democratic primary. Ciampa had been in office for 16 years but the feisty, openly gay Sciortino beat him on the first try... albeit by only 93 votes! The Republicans didn't run anyone against him in the general election but they backed a write-in campaign by Ciampa. This time Sciortino crushed him by better than two-to-one. Since then, he's amassed a solid progressive record in the state legislature, helped organize a Massachusetts Progressive Caucus and worked with People For the American Way's Young Elected Officials Network (which is where Digby, John and I met him).

In 2007, when he wrote and introduced Massachusetts' legislation protecting transgender people from discrimination, many "liberals" told him it would be career suicide. It seems to have made him just work even harder to pass it, which he finally did in 2011. "Transgender individuals in Massachusetts face unacceptably high levels of violence and discrimination in their daily lives," he told the media. "This bill will extend our statutory civil rights and hate crime protections to the transgender community." That's the kind of political courage we need in Washington. This morning he told me "I have been a proud champion on women's reproductive health, LGBT equality, economic justice, and a range of progressive issues in my eight years as a state legislator, and I am committed to continuing to fight for our values in Washington." If you'd like to help get Carl elected, you can do so on the Blue America ActBlue page.

So far, there's no one else running for the seat Markey is giving up to run for John Kerry's Senate seat. MA-05 was Obama's second strongest in Massachusetts. He beat Romney 65.1- 33.2% in the district north of Boston that includes, Medford, Waltham, Cambridge, Arlington, Framingham, Malden, Lexington, Revere, Watertown, Woburn, Sudbury and, way in the west, Southborough. But there probably will be a gaggle of state senators who decide to go for it. It's not likely that anyone who runs will be bad. It's not conceivable that anyone will be as good as Carl. We'll be talking to the 34 year old candidate over at Crooks and Liars in a couple weeks.

Help send Carl to Congress

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