Deval Patrick said it best: “This is not a time for left versus right, but right versus wrong.” As a Democrat, that’s why I plan to cast my vote in the 2nd Suffolk state Senate race Nov. 7 for Samiyah Diaz instead of Dianne Wilkerson.
Samiyah Diaz is running as a socially progressive and fiscally prudent candidate. She has been endorsed by gay rights and pro-choice organizations. She is bright, educated, hard-working. And a Republican. How can a conscientious Democrat consider voting for Diaz? There are at least three reasons:
First, it’s time for Dianne to go. Everyone seems to realize this except Dianne. Half of all Democrats voted for a candidate other than Dianne in the primary this year. Sonia Chang-Diaz did a good job pointing out all the legal and ethical issues that have bedeviled Dianne. Unfortunately, Sonia narrowly lost the primary election. So I plan to vote for a Republican, just this once, to remove Dianne from office. Maybe it’s just “one and done” for Diaz. But it’s simple “right versus wrong.”
Second, I want to send a message to the Republican Party. Whatever happened to the “Big Tent” that welcomed gays, women and persons of diverse background? Competition is good for democracy, but we need to have good choices for candidates. By supporting Diaz, I want the GOP to see that progressive candidates can be elected in Massachusetts. The “R” should stand for “respect” and “responsibility” rather than “Rove” and “Romney.”
Third, Diaz is a good candidate. She’s not nearly as polished as Dianne (few people are), but she’s honest, with advanced degrees in computer science, a single mom completing law school this year. She has advanced some thoughtful new ideas to fight crime, promote affordable housing and improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods. She also will have credibility with other legislators that Dianne simply lacks. I like Diaz and I have confidence she’ll be a solid Senator.
Diaz only stands a chance if Democrats vote for her. She knows this and has reached out for our help. A “blank” vote is a vote in favor of Dianne Wilkerson. It is time for a change. I hope other Democrats join me in making it happen.