Statewide, Upsets Fell Political Insiders
BOSTON--The Michael S. Dukakis era, which rose to its zenith two years ago during his quest for the presidency, has officially been ground in the dust.
The end came in yesterday's primary as most of those with strong ties to his administration were defeated.
The day marked the emergence of the outsider in Massachusetts politics. And nowhere was that more apparent than in Boston University President John R. Silber's defeat of former Attorney General Francis X. Bellotti in the Democratic gubernatorial primary.
Attorney General James G. Shannon, seeking re-election, and House Speaker George Keverian '53, bidding for the nominiation for treasurer, were also among the victims.
"I am very, very concerned about the future of this commonwealth and very concerned about the voter feeling that was demonstrated today," a stunned Keverian said in his concession speech. "And I hope it has ended with this election."
Voters have another opportunity to express frustration in November, when they get to vote on a tax rollback referendum that would slash taxes and fees, which have risen sharply in the past two years, to 1988 levels.
Middlesex District Attorney L. Scott Harshbarger '64, who pulled the upset of Shannon, sounded a similar theme.
"I've never seen in my limited career people over the last 16 months that are so angry, alienated and frustrated with the lack of leadership in this state," Harshbarger said. "One of my themes was that we as Democrats had to re-establish our right to lead."
In that race, with 1654 of 2138 precincts reporting, or 77 percent, Harshbarger had 384,680 votes, or 53 percent, to Shannon's 336,531 votes, or 47 percent.
Shannon, addressing supporters less than two hours after the polls closed, said, "there was a tidal wave coming and we happened to be standing on the beach when it hit."
On the Republican side, with 1441 of 2138 precincts reporting, or 67 percent, William C. Sawyer had 126,319 votes, or 54 percent, to Guy Carbone's 109,540 or 46 percent.
State Rep. William Galvin (D-Boston) was the winner in the treasurer's race. With 1653 of 2138 precincts reporting, or 77 percent, Galvin led with 351,589 votes, or 51 percent to Keverian's 211,468, or 30 percent. State Sen. Richard Kraus (D-Arlington) had 132,003 votes, or 19 percent.
Analysts had predicted that Republicans had the best chance in years of capturing the governorship, and White House aide Ron Kaufman said President Bush would come to Massachusetts to help campaign for Republicans here.
Underlying the races was the state's economy, which took a dive shortly after Gov. Michael S. Dukakis was defeated by George Bush in the 1988 presidential campaign.
His lieutenant governor, Evelyn Murphy, dropped out of the Democratic race shortly before the primary, after her failed attempt to take control of state affairs when Dukakis went to Europe on a trade mission. Her name remained on the ballot and she had 22,238, or 3 percent, with 78 percent of precincts reporting.
U.S. Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.) former mayor of Springfield defeated Theodore Dimauro, another former mayor of that city in the race for Democratic nominee. With 152 of 198 precincts reporting, or 77 percent, Neal had 38,599 votes, or 65 percent, while Dimauro had 21,010 votes, or 35 percent.
Neal's win marked one of the few successes for an incumbent or political "insider" in a day of political upsets.
Rep. Barney Frank '61 (D-Mass.), reprimanded by the House for his actions involving a male prostitute, faces token opposition from the GOP in November.
In races for prosecutor, Ronald Pina, the Bristol County DA whose office is investigating the murders of several young women whose bodies were found along area highways, was defeated by Paul F. Walsh Jr. in the Democratic primary.