Galvin is annoyed
In heavily Democratic Massachusetts, Secretary of State William Galvin has faced only one challenger from his own party since first taking office nearly 24 years ago. That was in 2006, when newcomer-to-politics John Bonifaz ran against Galvin.
The Boston Globe captured the spirit of that campaign by writing about Galvin’s no-show at a debate in Medford. Bonifaz would show up at forums all over the state, hoping for a back-and-forth with the incumbent, but never succeeded. Galvin, according to the Globe, dealt with Bonifaz by rarely dealing with him at all.
“Galvin at times seems to view the Bonifaz challenge as an annoyance,” the Globe reported, noting the secretary lobbied Democrats at the state convention in a bid to deny Bonifaz the 15 percent of delegates’ votes he needed to get on the primary ballot. That effort failed, but it illustrated how Galvin deals with annoyances.
Now, 12 years later, Galvin is annoyed again. Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim is running against him in the Democratic primary, and Zakim is voicing many of the same arguments that Bonifaz did earlier. He said there are too many obstacles to voting, and singled out Galvin’s decision to schedule the state primary on the day after Labor Day.
Galvin signaled his annoyance with his primary challenger in late December, accusing Zakim of being a “sneaky” political opportunist. “The Boston City Council is sort of an incubator. When you get paid that much to do so little I guess you have a lot of time on your hands,” Galvin said.
A couple weeks ago, Galvin apparently really lost it. On the day Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera announced he was supporting Zakim in the primary, Galvin called the mayor and forcefully expressed his displeasure. According to Rivera, the conversation turned into a heated exchange where both men cursed each other and the secretary suggested the mayor owed him his political career.
“Verbatim, he said, ‘I made you mayor.’ You don’t forget words like that,” Rivera said.
Galvin declined to comment, so we only know Rivera’s version of what happened. But it seems obvious that Galvin, who is known for his encyclopedic knowledge of Massachusetts politics, is rusty at running for office. With one poorly handled phone call, he has given his little-known primary opponent tremendous exposure and demonstrated an imperious attitude that is unlikely to sit well with voters.
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