US Representative Stephen F. Lynch, who has been leaning heavily on his background as a former ironworker as he runs for US Senate, is trying to beef up his policy credentials with a series of new videos in which he discusses his views on issues.
In the nine videos, posted on Lynch’s campaign website, the South Boston Democrat speaks about a range of issues – including some, such as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, which have not been part of his traditional portfolio.
The effort comes as Lynch tries to broaden his profile beyond his base in South Boston and challenge his rival for the Democratic Senate nomination, Edward J. Markey, who is known for delving into policy minutiae over his 36 years in Congress.
The videos show Lynch speaking casually about Afghanistan, gun violence, abortion, and trade agreements, among other issues. While the format may be more engaging for some voters than the dry policy papers candidates often release, the videos do not always include deep policy details.
They do, however, allow Lynch to address, in his own words, some of the policy areas that are potentially problematic for him as he woos the liberal voters who dominate Democratic primaries in Massachusetts.
Conor Yunits, a Lynch spokesman, said the videos are designed to let voters hear directly from the candidate. He said the campaign plans to release more in the coming days.
“I know I don’t fit a lot of ‘bumper sticker’ stereotypes on policy,” Lynch said in a statement. “I also know there are a lot of misconceptions out there about where I stand on issues and why. Presenting my positions through video allows voters to hear my views directly from me, and I think it will help them make an informed decision on Election Day.”
His spokesman said the campaign plans to release more videos in the coming days.
In the clip about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, Lynch, who has had a frosty relationship with gay rights activists, speaks about a cousin who is gay and says either “equal protection means equal protection, or it doesn’t.” He does not, however, mention gay marriage directly or discuss specific legislation.
In the video about abortion, Lynch, who has softened his longtime opposition to legalized abortion in recent weeks, describes himself as “pro-life” but says he “doesn’t believe that attacking Roe v. Wade is part of any solution.”
Discussing healthcare, another issue which has driven a wedge between him and the Democratic base, Lynch explains his vote against President Obama’s health care overhaul but says he is now focused on fixing the law, not repealing it.
Markey’s website features a more traditional section of written explanations of his views on issues.
Both Lynch and Markey are racing towards the April 30 primary and will face the winner of the GOP primary between state Representative Daniel B. Winslow, former US attorney Michael J. Sullivan, and former Navy SEAL Gabriel E. Gomez. The general election is June 25.Michael Levenson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @mlevenson.