Jim Lyons Re-Elected MassGOP Chairman

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2021/01/03/jim-lyons-re-elected-massgop-chairman/

Jim Lyons will be the chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party for at least another term.

On Sunday, Lyons won his re-election bid in a vote that included 75 members of the Republican State Committee. Of those 75, 39 voted for Lyons, and 36 voted for state Representative Shawn Dooley (R-Norfolk), who challenged Lyons for the party leadership.

The narrow victory comes two years after Lyons defeated then-MassGOP treasurer Brent Anderson 47-30 in the race for the position.

This year’s election took place Sunday, January 3 at 1A Auto in Littleton (co-owned by former GOP congressional candidate Rick Green) as well as in the parking lot of the business, with members of the committee listening in and voting from their cars.

Following the win, the MassGOP put out a statement about the race via Twitter.

It said, “Thank you, @RepDooley, for your fine remarks today, and congratulations to @JimLyonsMA for your victory. This is all about hard work. On to 2022.”

Although the two are more conservative than the average Republican in the Massachusetts legislature, Lyons is the more conservative of the two, based on ratings from the American Conservative Union. Lyons finished with a lifetime 96 percent rating and at that same time, Dooley had a lifetime 81 percent rating.

Satisfied with his second straight win, Lyons told New Boston Post in a telephone interview that he is looking forward to continuing the job.

“My whole focus is to try to build the party from the ground up,” Lyons said. “For 30 years, the focus has been on the governor and we see where that’s gotten us: nowhere at the legislative level. So my focus is on the state rep races and the local races and we’ll see what happens.

Dooley could not immediately be reached Sunday afternoon.

Lyons said he thinks the party has a strong opportunity to grow in the midterm election in 2022, agreeing with the notion that Republicans tend to fare better in midterm elections in years where there is a Democrat in the White House.

With Barack Obama’s former vice president Joe Biden widely expected to occupy the White House in less than three weeks, Lyons compared the opportunity to that of 2010 — but noted that the party is better positioned now than it was then. Republican had just 16 state representatives in 2010, following the wipeout 2008 election, as Ballotpedia notes. Now, the party has 30.

“I think we’re starting at a much higher point than we were in 2010,” Lyons said. “We had 11 members of the caucus running for re-election. That’s how bad it was. And the Tea Party movement gave us that energy throughout the state. It was about people taking it upon themselves. We want to capitalize on the energy in this state that President Trump brought to people who weren’t members of the Republican Party because they didn’t view it as a home for conservatives. The Massachusetts Republican Party is now a home for pro-lifers and conservatives.”

Lyons said getting pro-lifers elected to state and local offices will be a priority for the party now to prevent more bills like the ROE Act abortion expansion bill from passing.

“I think it’s critically important. We unified as Republicans behind that issue. Unfortunately, we were outnumbered, but we were unified. It was a very proud moment for me as the chairman of the committee in 2019 to bring attention to this horrific piece of legislation and to educate members of the legislature and our governor and have them united against the Infanticide Act — which by the way was the crowning moment for the ultimate insider Bob DeLeo to pass this as his final act in the State House.”

Members of the Massachusetts Republican State Committee also offered their thoughts to New Boston Post via email on Sunday afternoon.

MassGOP Vice Chairman Tom Mountain said that now that this party chairmanship election is over, unity will be key moving forward.

“Now is the time for the Mass. Republican Party, and in particular its governing board, the Republican State Committee, to put aside our petty difference and work towards our primary purpose — to defeat Democrats and elect Republicans,” Mountain wrote. “As MassGOP vice chair, that is my first and only goal.”

Daniel Kelly, the state committeeman from the First Suffolk District in Boston, said he is pleased by the outcome.

“Jim has worked so hard for the party and his victory is well deserved,” Kelly wrote. “He is a guarantor that the Republicans in Massachusetts will be a conservative alternative for voters looking for a change from the Democratic extremists that control our state legislature.”

Brian Genest of Dracut, state committeeman for the Second Essex & Middlesex District, also liked the outcome.

“It was my pleasure to vote for my friend Jim Lyons for re-election as MassGOP Chairman,” Genest wrote. “He is a conservative Republican with the vision, conviction and experience we need to keep moving our party forward with strong leadership. Jim is a man of integrity, principle and character. He doesn’t run away from being a Republican, depending on who’s listening. This is a special day for conservatives, our party and all Republicans in our state who want to work with the MassGOP to help make Massachusetts great again. State Committee members had a clear choice and we chose one of our own — a conservative, leader and a good man — to keep up his good work, especially the sanitizing sunlight he’s shined on outrageous past party spending and other financial practices.”

The Republican State Committee meeting was not open to the public, but Joyce Kelly, Revere state committeewoman from the First Suffolk & Middlesex District, described how it went down.”

It was a well-orchestrated Chairman’s event,” Kelly wrote. “Both candidates gave their goals what they would do in the next 2 years.  It was impressive and everyone was polite, as we all waited for the  big announcement.  Finally, Jim Lyons spoke to the crowd as we sat in our cars, with the heaters on, listening to the radio for the results.”