Around New England

Conservative State Rep Jim Lyons Fund Raiser Draws Protesters, Scorn

August 28, 2018

Conservatives are so horrible that the existence of even one of them in the Massachusetts Legislature needs to be protested.

More than 30 protesters, including several Democratic candidates, showed up outside a fund raiser for state Representative Jim Lyons (R-Andover) Monday night to protest Governor Charlie Baker’s attendance.

One protester held a sign saying “Love Not Hate Makes America Great.”

Lyons’s support for repealing the Bathroom Bill, which guarantees access of biological males who identify as women to women’s public bathrooms and locker rooms, seems to have drawn most of the ire, though his opposition to abortion and illegal immigration also solicited scorn. Lyons has also opposed banning so-called conversion therapy, and has voted against the state budget often.

Alexandra Chandler, a biological male who identifies as a woman, who is one of 10 Democrats running for the Third Congressional District seat in the Merrimack Valley, chided Baker for supporting “relics of the past,” apparently referring to Lyons, according to the Eagle-Tribune.

State Senator Barbara L’Italien – who is Lyons’s state senator – also showed up outside Lanam’s Club in Andover on Monday night; she is also running for the Democratic nomination for the Third Congressional District seat. So did Democratic governor candidates Jay Gonzalez and Bob Massie, and Lyons’s Democratic opponent for state representative, Tram Nguyen.

Baker is on the opposite side of most of the cultural-divide issues (and some of the fiscal issues) from Lyons, as a governor’s spokesman took pains to explain yesterday. But Lyons endorsed Baker in the GOP primary, over conservative challenger Scott Lively.

A news story in The Boston Herald suggests Baker, who has governed as a fiscal moderate and a social liberal, is trying to shore up support among conservatives before the Republican primary Tuesday, September 4.