• By: Lisa Kashinsky
  • 6 April, 2022
Republicans’ latest feud

FIGHTING WORDS — Republicans are sparring with each other again, but not for the usual reasons.

Jeffrey Sossa-Paquette, a Republican challenging Rep. Jim McGovern, wants lieutenant governor hopeful Kate Campanale to drop out of that contest over her 2018 legislative vote against banning so-called conversion therapy — or to at least do a better job of explaining her position. His new call comes after Sossa-Paquette, who is gay, hammered Campanale on the issue in a series of tweets yesterday.

Campanale was one of 14 House lawmakers who voted against banning the use of conversion therapy — a discredited program that attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity — on minors. Campanale’s vote has dogged her since she set foot on the campaign trail as Chris Doughty’s running mate in the governor’s race.

Campaign spokesperson Holly Robichaud told Playbook that neither candidate supports conversion therapy, and that Campanale’s vote was against a bill “that would have prevented therapist[s] from engaging freely with their clients.” That’s similar to how both Campanale and Doughty have explained her stance in recent interviews.

It’s strange to see a congressional candidate going after one of his party’s LG hopefuls rather than his Democratic rival. But issues like this are deeply personal, especially for Sossa-Paquette, who was the target of antigay remarks by a GOP state committee member last year who was “sickened” that he and his husband had adopted children.

The continued focus on Campanale’s old conversion-therapy vote alsocomes as political fights over gender identity and sexual orientation play out in other — often redder — states. And as national politics infiltrate local races, Bay State candidates may find themselves increasingly questioned over — or held accountable for — these broader trends.

GOOD WEDNESDAY MORNING, MASSACHUSETTS. State Rep. Liz Miranda is out with a new campaign video emphasizing her local roots and her legislative accomplishments as she vies for the open Second Suffolk state Senate seat that cuts through the heart of Boston’s predominantly Black neighborhoods

“If you’re afraid your family won’t be able to afford to live in a neighborhood they love, this campaign is for you,” Miranda narrates in the three-minute video titled “Brick by Brick,” adding, “We have the chance to co-build this movement that redefines what is politically possible: bringing the power from Blue Hill Avenue all the way to Beacon Hill.”

Miranda is also staffing up. She’s hired Richeline Cadet as her deputy campaign manager and Joseph Okafor, who was with her 2018 state representative campaign, as organizing director. Kevin Higgins, Miranda’s former legislative aide, is her finance director. Her campaign said she’s also collected enough signatures to get on the ballot.

The Second Suffolk race is shaping up to be one of Boston’s biggest political battles this year. Miranda has so far out-raised her rivals, state Rep. Nika Elugardo and the Rev. Miniard Culpepper. But Culpepper, who’s only been in the race for a month, has the most cash on hand after raising $59,132 in March.

TODAY — Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito speaks at the WBDC Reactory Summit at 8 a.m. in Worcester. Boston Mayor Michelle Wu discusses progress toward electrifying the city’s vehicle fleet at Madison Park Technical Vocational High School at 10 a.m. Rep. Lori Trahan participates in a “Gouged at the Gas Station: Big Oil and America’s Pain at the Pump” subcommittee hearing at 10:30 a.m.