Tuesday February 19, 2013

U.S. Senate campaigns now seem to come around as often as NASCAR seasons, and U.S. Representative Stephen Lynch, a Democratic candidate for the seat vacated by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, was scouring the Berkshires for votes Monday. Mr. Lynch comes from South Boston, a place familiar to county residents from various gangster movies, but his working class background gives him a link to Berkshire voters.

A former ironworker who helped build skyscrapers, Representative Lynch has always had strong ties to unions. That doesn’t mean as much is it once did but unions still wield political clout in the county and state. He is portraying Democratic rival Representative Edward Markey as a creature of the party establishment, and while it seems likely that Mr. Lynch would love to have those big-name Democratic endorsements he is correct that the party and state are better off with a choice in the April 30 primary.

As many as four Republicans may be in the primary field, but because former U.S. Senator Scott Brown procrastinated until February 1 to announce he would not run for the vacated seat, the candidates who emerged in his absence were left with just 27 days to get the 10,000 signatures from Republican and unaffiliated voters needed to make the ballot. Minority Republicans have enough problems in this state without their biggest name playing Hamlet and putting fellow Republicans in a hole.

All candidates regardless of party should join Mr. Lynch in encouraging communities to reschedule their annual town meetings to coincide with primary day. This would save money and boost attendance for both the meetings and the Senate vote. Senate races may come around too often, but they are all important.