Rep. Steve Lynch (D-MA) tells liberals: Don’t primary incumbents (even if we screw you over)




In 2010, the Tea Party waged a series of primary challenges against incumbents. They won some and lost some. In 2010, a number of Democratic incumbents were challenged in primaries by progressives. Some won, some lost. Primaries are a vital part of the process. But, members of Congress often think they’re royalty who should never be challenged by their “friends.” Via The Hill, a case in point:

Rep. Steve Lynch:Liberal groups need to stay out of Democratic primaries if the party is going to retake the House majority, according to a conservative Massachusetts Democrat.

Rep. Stephen Lynch was one of several Democrats who faced an aggressive primary challenge from the left in 2010. His challenger Mac D’Alessandro, a former top official with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), received almost $300,000 from labor groups for his campaign.

“There was a lot of money spent against Democrats by Democrats,” Lynch told The Ballot Box. “That contributed to the scale of our losses.”

As if. But, it gets worse. Here’s the solution from Lynch:

Clearing primaries for members and discouraging liberal groups from spending against incumbents should be a priority for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, he said. “It would definitely help, I think. You need to talk to those groups.”

Here’s a better idea: Vote like Democrats and you won’t get a primary.

Lynch apparently cited the primary in New Hampshire’s Second District as an example. That race featured Annie Kuster against Katrina Swett. Kuster won big, then in a huge year for GOPers in the Granite State, nearly beat her Republican opponent:

Kuster’s camp, meanwhile, argued the primary produced a stronger candidate and noted that despite the environment her performance was better than Swett had done in her previous run.

“Kuster lost to Bass by 1 percent in 2010; Swett had lost to Bass by 16 percent when she faced him back in 2002,” said Colin Van Ostern, Kuster’s former campaign manager. “So it is hard to draw any conclusion except that the primary caused Democrats to put up the strongest possible candidate.”

Lynch’s whining is so typical of entrenched Democrats in DC. If incumbents start voting against their base, there should be more primaries. No one should have a free ride.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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