Former Boston Mayor Ray Flynn, a registered Democrat, has recently come out in support of Republican Scott Brown for the Massachusetts Senate race this year. The endorsement has political strategists constructing different scenarios and outcomes for the upcoming election.
The Boston Globe reports on the political developments in Massachusetts. “His endorsement gives conservative, white Democrats permission to vote for Scott Brown,” said Rob Gray, a Republican political strategist.
“They may be saying to themselves, ‘I like Brown, but I’m a Democrat and I can’t vote for a Republican. But wait a sec, Ray Flynn is a Democrat, so I guess its OK.’ ”
Leading Democrats - as well as Flynn’s record - beg to differ. The former Massachusetts mayor supported George W. Bush over Al Gore in the 2000 election, and endorsed Brown over Democrat Martha Coakley in the 2010 special election. Flynn was also one of six former envoys who served as ambassadors to the Vatican who wrote a letter in support of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in July.
At last month’s Democratic National Convention, former governor Michael S. Dukakis offered his criticisms of the former Boston mayor. “The Ray Flynn that I worked with then, and I knew and respected, wouldn’t have given Scott Brown the time of day,” Dukakis said at the convention. “Tax cuts for the rich? Repealing Obamacare? Are you kidding me? Flynn? I don’t know what’s happened to him.”
Flynn, however, says he still supports several Democratic politicians, including state Representative Nick Collins, state Senator Jack Hart, and US Representative Stephen F. Lynch.
Flynn says he supports candidates who stand for “people I grew up with, people who work for a living, they have kids, they pay tuitions, they are struggling, they lost their jobs, they have a kid that is sick, they have a parent that needs to get in a nursing home.”
In regards to throwing his support toward Republican Brown, Flynn said, “It’s really a nonpolitical message about the man, rather than it is about politics or ideology.”
“I didn’t go through his congressional record or roll call. I don’t have time for that. People don’t have time for that. I am interested if the guy is honest, that he has personal integrity.”
One of the major points of contention for Flynn is that as a Catholic, he is strictly against abortion. Brown, however, has said that he is in favor of abortion rights.
“He was endorsed by Massachusetts Citizens for Life [the state’s leading anti-abortion group],” Flynn said. “That’s an organization I believe in. That means there must be something there, that he has a lot of respect for life and the needy.”
At the end of the day, Flynn’s endorsement will only help lead Brown to victory if he wins two of every 10 registered Democrats votes, according to Rob Gray, a Republican political strategist.
Gray and other strategists agree that Flynn’s endorsement doesn’t carry as much influence as Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who announced his backing of Warren on Friday.
Watch the video here where Flynn endorses Brown: