Mass. Democratic Party Chair to Seek Approval from State Committee to Not Hold Annual Convention

Today, the Chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, Gus Bickford, with the support of Senator Ed Markey and Congressman Joe Kennedy III, is announcing that he will seek approval from the Democratic State Committee to not hold a state convention in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“While it is unfortunate that the current circumstances do not allow for our annual gathering of Democrats, this is the right decision for the Party to make,” said Gus Bickford, Chair of the Massachusetts Democratic Party.  “Our duty to protect one another, to protect our friends, family, neighbors and strangers, requires that we all make changes to the way we live. While these changes require that we not hold a convention this year, they do not mean that Democratic activism has slowed.  I am heartened by the creative ways Democratic campaigns and activists have adapted their strategies and the ways in which they continue to push our Democratic message, reach out to Massachusetts voters, and provide comfort during this uncertain time. I am grateful to the leadership of Senator Markey and Congressman Kennedy, who have each agreed that not holding a convention is the right thing to do.”

The Markey and Kennedy campaigns have agreed that Senator Markey would win the convention and Congressman Joe Kennedy would surpass the 15% threshold.

Winthrop’s Democratic State Committeeman Valentino Capobianco said, “While It is unfortunate, I believe this is the right call. Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our fellow citizens. We can continue the work of talking to voters through phone calls and digital platforms. It is important that we remain a unified party committed to defeating Donald Trump in November.”

Upon adoption of this recommendation, the Chair of the Party will send a letter to Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin, requesting that he place the names of both Senator Markey and Congressman Kennedy on the Democratic Primary ballot for United States Senate.

Democratic Party officials did examine alternative ways to conduct its Convention.  These alternatives present their own challenges, as well as concerns about equity and consistency.  The Democratic State Committee will consider this recommendation at its virtual meeting on April 4th.  Should this recommendation be adopted, the 102 local caucuses that did not take place prior to the suspension of caucuses on March 10 will not occur this year.

Joint Statement from John Walsh, Campaign Manager for U.S. Senator Ed Markey and Nick Clemons, Campaign Manager for Congressman Joe Kennedy:

“The Massachusetts Democratic Party has been responsive and responsible in each of its decisions during this difficult time, prioritizing the protection of the health and safety of all involved. On behalf of the Markey and Kennedy campaigns, we support the solution that the party has proposed.”

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