By Brian Genest
It’s a fight for the heart and soul of the Massachusetts Republican Party. If you’re a Republican who cares about the future of the MassGOP, you should care about the outcome of the upcoming State Committee elections. At stake is whether the party moves ahead under Chairman Jim Lyons with the unity, focus and accountability of a strong conservative majority or goes back to the not-so-distant past with establishment layabouts doing little but blowing donor money on steak dinners.
The 80 members of the Republican party’s governing body, one man and woman from each of the state’s 40 senate districts, will be elected on the March 3 Presidential Primary ballot. The results will determine just how Republican the party will be for the next four years. That’s why Republicans like Mary Burns of Lowell are exactly what we don’t need on the State Committee.
A political dinosaur who’s been lurking around for decades, Mary Burns has a way of uniting Republicans – against her. Last week, the Lowell Republican City Committee voted unanimously to censure Mary Burns, a member of the group and its former chair, for violating its bylaws by donating to Democrats in partisan races. Mary Burns has been shelling out campaign contributions to Democrats in greater Lowell, including State Rep. Tom Golden and State Rep. Dave Nagle.
If you see Mary Burns, ask her if she supports President Donald Trump. If you do see her, it will probably be in a selfie on social media with Bill Weld, Marty Meehan or Lori Trahan. You get the picture. What you won’t see is any pictures of Mary Burns knocking on doors in Lowell to support down-ticket Republican candidates. Just ask John MacDonald, Cliff Krieger and Kam Kay, former candidates who got no help from Mary Burns when they ran.
Someone Mary Burns did help was Democrat State Rep. Jim Arciero of Westford. She donated to him in 2018, when his opponent was Republican Kathy Lynch of Westford. Guess who Mary Burns now has as her opponent for State Committeewoman?
There’s more bad news for Mary Burns: Kathy Lynch is the real deal, a well-known grassroots activist who works hard to build the Republican party, including as chair of the Westford Republican Town Committee. Kathy Lynch is also building strong support for her campaign. This week, Jim Lyons endorsed Kathy Lynch, joining a long list of Republicans, including me.
Speaking of endorsements, do you remember when Mary Burns ran for state representative in 1990? She’d probably like you to forget. Back then, the University of Lowell student senate endorsed her. A month later, they withdrew the endorsement by a vote of 19 to 1 because of inconsistencies in her position on the Citizens for Limited Taxation petition.
“I think a lot of people at this point felt her integrity was in question,” Student Government Association President Thomas Winston told the Lowell Sun at the time.
Not much has changed, except that Mary Burns is now a UMass Trustee. Nonetheless, the co-presidents of the UMass Lowell College Republicans are endorsing Kathy Lynch. Smart kids.
Mary Burns is always good for one thing: a laugh. Her campaign brochure claims she wants to “drain the swamp,” “stop illegal immigration” and “elect more Republicans.” She has a funny way of showing it, considering Golden, Nangle and Arciero are all Democrats who support sanctuary cities.
This should be an easy choice for Republicans in Lowell, Westford, Groton, Pepperell, Dunstable and Tyngsboro. Vote for Kathy Lynch, a Republican who supports Republicans, for State Committeewoman. Mary Burns won’t drain the swamp; she is the swamp.
— Brian Genest is a member of the Massachusetts Republican State Committee representing the Second Essex & Middlesex district of Andover, Dracut, Lawrence and Tewksbury.