Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins has won the support of an influential member of the Democratic State Committee in his bid to replace Sen. Tom McGee as Chair of the Massachusetts Democratic Party.
He was also endorsed by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.
The 400-member DSC, the MassDems governing body, will meet after the November 8th presidential elections to pick McGee’s replacement. Tompkins is running against former Lt. Gov candidate and 2012 Democratic National Convention head Steve Kerrigan, and long-time DSC stalwart Gus Bickford.
Yesterday, the Boston Globe reported that Walsh will supports Tompkins bid. Today, former State Rep. and MassDems Vice-Chair Ray Jordan sent an email to fellow committee members asking them to vote for the Sheriff.
If Walsh holds sway over Boston’s DSC members, his endorsement could be a huge boon for Tompkins. About a quarter of DSC members are from the hub.
Walsh has also shown some ability pull the levers of the MassDems machine to support a candidate. In 2014, Walsh muscled Warren Tolman through the state convention, besting Maura Healey to win the coveted “official endorsement” in his bid for the Attorney General’s office.
I love my mayor, but Ray Jordan is the big get for Tompkins. Jordan is a widely-respected party elder, and a representative of two important DSC factions: people of color and members from Western Mass.
Jordan will amplify Tompkins’ focus on increasing diversity in the state party, and might add a counterweight to the other heavy hitter from out west, Chicopee’s Deb Kozikowski.
More importantly, Jordan gets to vote on the next MassDems Chair, Walsh doesn’t
Here’s Jordan’s emails to DSC members todayGreetings Democratic Committee Members:
I am writing to you to tell you of my support for Steve Tompkins to be the next Chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic State Party. I do not really know Steve Kerrigan, but have worked with the other two candidates for Chair. I believe Steve Tompkins is the best choice to move our Party forward. Steve has demonstrated a successful track record as a grassroots organization builder, visionary thinker, strategic communicator and aggressive fundraiser.
Many of you know that I have dedicated my life to the service of others with a public career spanning nearly forty years as both a State Representative and a member of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. I have also been an active participant within the Democratic State Committee for more than forty years and served as its vice chair in Massachusetts from 1996 to 2016. Throughout that time, I have worked for inclusion, equality, justice and opportunity for all people.
Given the current climate of division and strife that circles above every state in the nation we need to have all Democratic hands on deck with a renewed commitment to inclusion by cultivating new members that more truthfully depicts the current demographics of our nation. We need greater engagement of our young men and women in the party. We have to recruit and welcome the participation of more seniors, military personnel and members of the LGBT and Transgender communities into our ranks. And, we absolutely must have more people of color to provide the kind of representation in our membership that reflects the times in which we find ourselves.
I believe that Steve Tompkins is the single person in this race who can effect such change.
Steve possesses a vast breadth of knowledge and experience in the realm of mass communications, political messaging, social media, and strategic outreach that will prove invaluable in his efforts to promote and raise capital for the party platform.
Having worked with him on many socially conscience initiatives and several campaigns – including his successful efforts to elect U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren — I can tell you firsthand that he is a tireless worker who is more concerned with results than resting. He has also been a powerful advocate for the ideals that represent the core of the Democratic Party: fighting for better access to quality education for all; sustainable employment at a true living wage for every American; the great importance of being civically engaged; an end to mass incarceration; and inclusion of all people, regardless of race, gender, age, religion or sexual orientation.
While there are others in this race with, perhaps, more experience as Democratic Party operatives than Steve, there are no others who embody his passion, persistence and vision with the ability to bridge the gap between yesterday’s Massachusetts Democratic Party and tomorrow’s.
I have written this letter to tell you of my support of Steve Tompkins for the Chairmanship of the Massachusetts Democratic State Party and it is my hope that you will join me in supporting this candidate who I believe has the requisite skills to move our Party forward.