Tran’s concession statement reflects his isolation

‘Nothing compares to planned attacks, negativity from last 11 months’

SEN. DEAN TRAN of Fitchburg posted a concession statement of sorts on Facebook over the weekend that seemed to capture the isolation he felt on Beacon Hill.

Tran lost a close race to Democratic political newcomer John Cronin, who had relentlessly attacked the Republican incumbent for the disciplinary action the full Senate took against him in March. The Senate unanimously voted to strip Tran of his leadership position, barred him from using his office, and required him to communicate with his aides by email only.

The embarrassing disciplinary action, which Tran attributed to inaccurate charges he was never given a chance to rebut, left him wounded politically.

The Massachusetts Republican Party doesn’t show up in Tran’s campaign finance filings as supporting him in any fashion. A super PAC with close ties to Gov. Charlie Baker didn’t back him.

And six of Tran’s Democratic colleagues in the Senate – Sens. Michael Barrett of Lexington, Harriette Chandler of Worcester, Cynthia Creem of Newton, Julian Cyr of Truro, Cindy Friedman of Arlington, and William Brownsberger of Belmont—all contributed money to his opponent. Cronin outspent Tran in September and October by more than $12,000.

In his Facebook statement, Tran didn’t mention Cronin or congratulate him on his victory. Instead, he thanked his family and his supporters, and summed up his go-it-alone political philosophy.

“I have always made the people in my district a priority through my work and votes regardless of how my colleagues on both sides of the aisle felt about me,” Tran said in the statement. “My accomplishments for the district reflect the non-partisan manner in which I have discharged my responsibilities as a legislator and leader. This is how a district should be served and that is how I have served the district.”

Meet the Author

Bruce Mohl

Editor, CommonWealth

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

“I have shown throughout my political career, that when I listen and serve the people, it will take every obstacle my opponents and their supporters can conceive of in order to defeat me. I have encountered it time and again, but nothing compares to the planned attacks and negativity from the last 11 months.”

Tran’s defeat leaves the Republican Party with just three senators in the 40-member Senate.