The state Republican Party has entered the lion’s den of traditionally liberal, Democratic Jamaica Plain by opening a campaign office in Hyde Square.
“We’re opening offices in corners of the state we never have before,” said Massachusetts Republican Party spokesperson Tim Buckley in a Gazette interview, adding that the GOP is growing rapidly throughout the state this year. JP has had an active Republican ward committee for a few years, and now every ward in Boston has one for the first time in decades, Buckley said.
He said the 370A Centre St. office opened just a few days ago. It will serve to promote all Republican candidates, including presidential nominee Mitt Romney and U.S. Senate re-election hopeful Scott Brown, whose signs are the only ones currently on display in the storefront. The activity will include door-knocking in JP, he said.
Both major parties are battling for the Latino and Hispanic vote this fall, and the local GOP office happens to be in one of the centers of Boston’s Latino community. Brown recently visited Hyde Square to discuss a Puerto Rican veterans memorial, drawing both praise and criticism from local Latino leaders. And Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren has met both privately and publicly with JP’s Latino leaders.
But, Buckley said, there is not a particular Latino outreach strategy to the JP office. He said that the GOP’s message of lower taxes and job creation have widespread appeal. He also said that other GOP offices in West Roxbury and South Boston are busy and that having a JP office will make the campaign even more “accessible” to people from the area.
The JP office is the latest of 11 field offices the state GOP has opened so far, a number far beyond its outreach in recent elections, Buckley said. They are part of the “Mass. Victory Program” to support all Republican candidates on the ballot.
“We are making incredible gains this year as far as our grassroots networks,” he said.
The storefront has a political history. In 2009, it was a campaign office for former City Councilor Michael Flaherty’s unsuccessful run for mayor.