‘Hip-Hop Republican’ Files To Run For Governor of Massachusetts

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2021/03/18/hip-hop-republican-files-to-run-for-governor-of-massachusetts/

One Republican has filed to run for governor in Massachusetts — and it’s not Charlie Baker, or Karyn Polito, or Geoff Diehl.

Lowell resident Darius Mitchell, who refers to himself as “the Hip-Hop Republican” on some of his social media accounts, filed a statement of organization with the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance earlier this week.

Mitchell has run for city council in Lowell four times, most recently in 2013.

Mitchell explained why he wants to run for governor in a video on his YouTube page on Monday, March 15.

“Massachusetts needs a political shakeup there’s no if ands or buts about it. We need some fresh blood. We need some new energy, regular people, poor people, in the political arena,” Mitchell said in the video. “A lot of times in Massachusetts, these guys don’t even have opponents. They’re running unopposed. That ain’t democracy. That’s not voting rights. That’s a scam. When your guy ain’t got no opponent, that’s what they call a scam where I come from.”

“And there’s this big scam going on in Massachusetts politics where people just sign papers and send them to the State House and they cancel elections with these things called home rule petitions,” he added. “The law says if a mayor, a Boston mayor, Lawrence mayor, retires, we have a special election. The law doesn’t say you send it to the State House and you cancel the election. The law says you have the election and you let the people decide.”

Mitchell pointed out that Governor Charlie Baker signed home rule petitions for both Lawrence and Boston this year, allowing the cities to bypass special elections for mayor. This means the person who will serve as mayor for the majority of the year in both cities will not be someone elected as mayor by the people of those respective cities.

Mitchell also said that he wants to see the Republican Party in Massachusetts improve its urban and minority outreach.

“A lot of times, Republicans don’t want to have candidates on the ballot,” he said in the same video. “They don’t have candidates on the ballot in Suffolk County which is Boston. They don’t have candidates on the ballot in Brockton. They don’t have candidates in Lynn, Lowell, Worcester, Springfield, New Bedford, Fall River, the urban cities where the poor people, the working class people work hard. We need a change. We need a new political race with some diversity in it. People with color on their skin. You know, average people. The most neglected places in Massachusetts are the urban cities, the Gateway cities.”

This would not be Mitchell’s first run for public office. He ran for U.S. Senate as a Republican in Massachusetts in 2018. He was unable to make the September primary ballot, however, after receiving less than 3 percent of the delegate vote at the state party convention. Candidates needed 15 percent to make it.

Mark Sullivan, then a reporter for the Telegram & Gazette, reported favorably on Mitchell’s speech at the 2018 Massachusetts Republican Party convention. Sullivan noted that Mitchell “evoked Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln and Edward Brooke in a rousing speech that recalled the Republican Party’s history while urging outreach to minority and unenrolled voters.”

Brooke, a liberal Republican, was the first black member of Congress from Massachusetts. He served as a U.S. senator from 1967 to 1979.

It’s unclear which other Republicans will run for governor of Massachusetts next year. Governor Baker has not ruled out serving a third term, but has yet to announce a decision on the matter.

Mitchell could not be reached for comment on Wednesday this week.