I agree with Joan Vennochi (“An insiders’ game for Democrats,” Op-ed, Feb. 23) that the Democratic convention should not choose which gubernatorial candidates should be in its primary this year. When Elizabeth Warren ran for senator in 2012, it was a different situation. Democrats felt the importance of the race not only for our state but our country, and we didn’t want to dilute our energy or finances in a primary, especially where one candidate was an unknown with little chance to win. This year is different, with five strong candidates. An unrestricted primary not only would be more democratic but better for the winning Democrat in the general election that follows.
Martha Coakley would get a chance to show how her skills as a prosecutor would qualify her to be governor, and to prove that she would keep her eyes on the prize if nominated.
Likewise, Steve Grossman would have to show why his skills at politics and political connections are relevant.
Joseph Avellone would have to convince us that instead that we need a businessman whose main focus is promoting jobs.
Juliette Kayyem would have to show her ideas brilliant enough to overcome her slim government administrative experience.
Donald Berwick would have to convince voters that he is the creative, progressive administrator needed for Massachusetts.
I hope to caucus for Berwick at the convention, but I would love to see a proposal introduced there that we dump the 15 percent qualification for candidates. Let all Massachusetts Democrats judge the candidates in an open primary and decide for themselves who would make the best governor. Bring it on.