The reunion of Mass. GOP Highlights Growing Rift – NBC Boston
Tensions were high at a Massachusetts Republican State Committee meeting on Wednesday as the rift between the more conservative and moderate party members continues to widen.
The scene that unfolded in front of Apex Entertainment in Marlboro was one of anger and division.
“Our Republican Party is in shambles right now,” said longtime Republican Arete Pascucci. “It’s beyond talking.”
Dozens of people rallied to be included in the party and to defend gay congressional candidate Jeffrey Sossa-Paquette after committee member Deborah Martell emailed other Republicans that she was disgusted by him because he had adopted children.
“What she said reinforces all the negative stereotypes about Republicans, that we are backward, that we are intolerant, that we do not accept people of other beliefs,” said Tom Mountain, vice president of Massachusetts. GOP.
Others have defended Massachusetts GOP chairman Jim Lyons, who told Sossa-Paquette he did not want to get involved in the controversy with Martell.
“It’s his rights to be able to express his opinion, it’s protected. That doesn’t mean we have to agree with that,” said Rayla Campbell, Republican candidate for lieutenant governor.
“We all have the right to our freedom of expression,” said Sossa-Paquette. “What we have no right to is to take these freedoms of expression and turn them into weapons to seek evil.”
But Lyon supporters say there is something else going on. They say Gov. Charlie Baker has sided in a far left, liberal direction, and Republicans on his payroll are following his lead.
“Maybe we’re better off without the governorship, and we’re able to build the party from scratch,” said Steve Aylward, member of the Republican State Committee.
Baker’s supporters couldn’t disagree more.
“He’s the number one governor in the country, and he’s a Republican. Why shouldn’t we be behind our governor? Pascucci asked.
Only GOP office holders and committee members were allowed into the room, angering many Republicans who showed up expecting to attend what they say has always been a open meeting. Journalists were also refused entry.