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Thomas McGee may lead state Democratic party

State Senator Thomas M. McGee is emerging as the leading candidate to be the next chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, say political activists and leaders.

McGee, a Lynn Democrat who has both strong urban roots and support from the party’s liberal wing, would replace outgoing chairman John Walsh if he is elected to the post. The election will probably take place in October.

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McGee’s candidacy gained steam after others who considered running for the post — Warren Tolman, a former state senator, state Representative Jeffery Sanchez of Jamaica Plain, and longtime Democratic activist and lawyer Cheryl Cronin — decided not to run.

Still, McGee faces hurdles. One problem is that he is a white male who would head a party that strives for diversity. He is also a senator, who, as an elected official, has his own agenda, which can bring him into conflict with party duties.

For example, one of his senatorial constituents is Charles D. Baker, the likely Republican gubernatorial nominee whom the party will attack relentlessly. The two have overlapping constituencies in Swampscott, many of whom would not appreciate seeing Baker attacked by the Democrats.

Frank Phillips can be reached at
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