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GOP blueprints Beacon Hill grab

By Michael McAuliffe, The Republican, Mar. 28, 2004

GOP blueprints Beacon Hill grab



SPRINGFIELD - Badly outnumbered on Beacon Hill and nonexistent in the Massachusetts congressional delegation, Republicans gathered yesterday to buoy candidates and put them in touch with organizations that may help in their efforts to win office this year.

Several dozen people gathered at the downtown offices of the Baystate Republican Council for a candidates' rally at which office seekers could make contacts and gather information from one or more representatives from several groups.

Among the organizations represented were the Parents Rights Coalition, Citizens for Limited Taxation, the Gun Owners' Action League, the Fatherhood Coalition, and the Massachusetts Family Institute.

Marshall T. Moriarty, council chairman, talked about the Republicans becoming the majority party in the Legislature within six years. The GOP currently has fewer than 10 senators and not quite two dozen representatives, and Moriarty said the party has to better articulate its vision of social and fiscal conservatism if it is to prevail on Beacon Hill.

Despite that tall task, he expressed confidence to the audience.

"Watch out, here we come," he said. "We're about ready to take over the state and become the majority."

Steven E. Adam, an Orange selectman, said he will take Republican representation to the state's congressional delegation by ousting U.S. Rep. John W. Olver, D-Amherst, in the 1st Congressional District race.

"I am the man who is going to take down John Olver," said Adam in brief remarks to the audience.

Adam, 49, a quality-control manager for an Orange business, said earlier that he had attended a home show in Athol yesterday at which a number of people told him it was time for Olver, first elected in 1991, to be defeated.

"These aren't Republicans," Adam said. "These are ordinary citizens at a home show."

Also attending yesterday's rally was West Springfield resident Travis W. Chaput, who is seeking the state Senate seat held by Linda J. Melconian, D-Springfield. Melconian is in her 11th term.

Chaput, 33, a high school history teacher making his first run for public office, said that state government needs to spend less money and become more efficient.

"I don't see her as being the reform candidate, when she's been there for so long," he said.

He added that Melconian's Democratic challenger, State Rep. Stephen J. Buoniconti of West Springfield, is also not a reformer.

Williamsburg resident Jeffrey C. Cranston, like Chaput a first-time candidate, is seeking to defeat State Rep. Stephen Kulik, D-Worthington, who first won election in 1993.

Cranston, 39, the owner of a home-improvement business, is not nervous about seeking office. "I'm a leader," he said. "I'm not a follower."

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