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Mass. GOP gathers with goal of unseating Patrick

Associated Press | 4/20/2010, 8:49 p.m.
Massachusetts Republican gubernatorial hopeful, Charles Baker, right, moves past rival Christy Mihos, left, during the Massachusetts Republican Convention, Saturday, April 17, 2010, in Worcester, Mass. The more than 3,000 delegates will decide whether to give Mihos the 15 percent support to get on September’s primary ballot. AP /Michael Dwyer

He reprised a familiar campaign line in his greeting to the delegates: “I’m Scott Brown. I’m from Wrentham. And I still drive a truck.”

As the crowd cheered, he added: “However, this time, the truck is parked outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.”

Brown’s win was part of a streak that began before Obama completed his first year in office, as Republicans won gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia. The Brown victory, propelled in part by like-minded tea party activists, was followed by the decision of several high-profile Democrats deciding against seeking re-election this midterm year.

They include U.S. Rep. William Delahunt, D-Mass., and Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., who was targeted by conservatives after he supported Obama’s health care overhaul.

“I just think the whole face of the party is changing,” said Rep. Karyn Polito of Shrewsbury, a candidate for state treasurer. “Where it was aging, we now have a lot of newcomers with us today. I think this is a great time to plug into that energy and make a change in the Statehouse,” she said.

While Polito has endorsed Baker for governor, she spoke diplomatically of Mihos.

“I think everyone should have a shot at getting the nomination at the convention,” she said.

The GOP is hoping its nominee can prevent Patrick from winning a second term in November. It would not only allow the party to regain the Corner Office in the Statehouse, which it held for the 16 years before Patrick won in 2006, but it would set an especially negative story line for the final two years of the term for Obama.

Associated Press