GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

October 29, 2010

Times Endorsements: Cousins, Coakley. Connaughton, Galvin, Grossman deserve nods on Tuesday


Beyond the races for Congress, Cape Ann's primary state representative seat, and the governor's office — and beyond the referendum questions — there are a number of other races and candidates that deserve voters' undivided attention when they go to the polls Tuesday.

Here are additional endorsements from the Gloucester Daily Times and gloucestertimes.com.

Essex County Sheriff: Frank Cousins is facing a two-pronged challenge Tuesday from Democrat Damian Anketell and independent Kevin Leach of Manchester. Yet that's to be expected; anyone who continues to carry out reforms over more than a decade is bound to make some rank-and-file enemies, and that's the case here.

The truth is, residents of Cape Ann and the rest of Essex County have been well-served with Frank Cousins as their sheriff since his 1996 appointment to clean up the patronage mess left by predecessor Charles Reardon.

Cousins' latest push — for a regional dispatch center — may not fit all, and Gloucester is one of those where it doesn't. But that doesn't diminish the help it can provide smaller communities. And it doesn't diminish Cousins' leadership, which has won support and displays of faith from both sides of the political spectrum.

He deserves re-election.

Attorney General: We endorsed Scott Brown, Martha Coakley's opponent, in January's special election for U.S. Senate. But that was not at all rooted in Coakley's performance as attorney general, which has been excellent.

On local issues alone, she has stepped up the state's push against NOAA Fisheries' law enforcement against Gloucester fishermen and the Seafood Display Auction, and she has pressed against the Gloucester Community Arts Charter School for clearly violating state contract bidding laws — even while having to defend embattled Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester against a lawsuit filed by 15 city school parents.

In general, has appeared firm and fair, taking direct aim at insurance fraud and other consumer issues that affect us all.

Challenger James McKenna deserves credit for earning a ballot slot on a statewide write-in and sticker bid, a greatly expanded version of what Janet Holmes achieved to challenge state Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante. Like Holmes, however, he has also not made a case for unseating a strong, effective incumbent. In this case, that's Coakley, who has clearly earned another term as our Attorney General.

State Auditor: Mary Z. Connaughton, a Republican from Framingham, earned a well-deserved reputation as an advocate for reform when she served on the board of directors of the Turnpike Authority.

That instinct will serve her well as state auditor, where she deserves the nod Tuesday over tarnished former legislator Suzanne Bump.

Secretary of State: William Galvin has held this post since 1995, has compiled an impressive record of accomplishment, and deserves re-election.

Under Galvin's tenure, the ranks of registered voters in Massachusetts have expanded to more than 4 million. Yet the state's elections have been well run and free of any proven claims of fraud.

Remember the notorious punch cards that plagued the presidential election in Florida in 2000? Galvin had rid Massachusetts of them three years earlier.

State Treasurer: When Timothy Cahill mounted his run for governor, it left an important hold in the treasurer's seat. But Steve Grossman promises to bring his business experience to the office, with a commitment to new transparency through posting state spending and other records online. He's the best choice for the post.