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Boston Phoenix: Great Read on Wilkerson/Chang-Diaz

While many of us were following breaking developments regarding Senator Wilkerson's finances this past weekend, the Boston Phoenix published a nice state-of-the 2nd Suffolk Senate race overview in its current edition.

Full disclosure: I recently posted an endorsement of Sonia Chang-Diaz in this race.

Some interesting take-aways from the story:

Following Chang-Díaz as she canvasses in Jamaica Plain and the Fort Hill neighborhood of Roxbury, it’s easy to start believing that Wilkerson is winding down her final days in office. “Anyone running against Dianne Wilkerson is all right by me,” one school teacher told Chang-Díaz. Then a city worker: “I just can’t pull a lever for [Wilkerson].” A black mother: “I’m not a big fan of your opponent — some people get into office and lose sight of why they are there.” A middle-aged woman: “You’ve got my vote . . . I just want some change, something other than publicity all the time that’s negative.”


Wilkerson won by more than 1500 votes in Ward 12, countering Chang-Díaz’s 1100-vote margin in Ward 19, which includes Jamaica Plain and Roslindale. Several political observers say that, this year, without Patrick on the ballot, Roxbury’s numbers will probably fall off more sharply than JP’s, meaning it will cost Wilkerson more votes than Chang-Díaz.


However, Chang-Díaz also has solid minority credentials: though her mother is white, her father is of mixed Hispanic and Asian ancestry. In fact, while Chang-Díaz may be trying to oust the state’s only black senator, she would in turn become the first Latina ever to serve in the State Senate.

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Its a great assesment of the race.

I dont think Diaz can finish Wilkerson off, she has a firm footing in that seat, and has many powerful friends. It will be hard for Chang-Diaz to break into some of the voting blocks she desperatly needs to win to get the seat.

That being said, I wish her the best of luck. If Wilkerson can not afford to pay her mortgage even though she has a "part time" job (many of the legislators are lawyers and have other professions outside of the state house) that pays 65,000 a year there has to be something wrong with her ability to manage funds which calls her ability to be part of the budgeting process of the state into play.

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Thanks SMM--

THough I wonder if it my be a tad premature to call this race, at this point. Sonia Chang-Diaz is well organized. It certainly is going to be interesting to watch the race after Labor Day.


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