To the editor:

Being a registered Republican in Massachusetts is not for the faint of heart. We are outnumbered by registered Democrats (though the largest political designation in this state is unenrolled/independent). The national media, slanted horribly to the left, paints an incredibly depressing picture as it attempts to bolster Democrats by constantly reporting on the negatives about Republicans. It can be very disheartening and lead many Republicans to think that political activism is a pointless exercise.

However, the truth is that, in the last eight years, while the White House has been inhabited by the most liberal president in history, the rest of the country has taken a sharp right turn. In addition to holding a majority in the U.S. Senate, Republicans also hold the largest majority in the House of Representatives since World War II. There are 31 Republican governors in the United States, including three (Massachusetts, Illinois, Maryland) in states which President Obama won in 2012. Republicans control the state legislatures (a majority of the House and Senate) of 29 states.

During the presidential primary season, the enthusiasm gap between Republicans and Democrats has been unprecedented. Democrat turnout for their primaries is down 30 percent since 2008. Republican turnout has been historic, in some cases up 70 percent since 2012’s primary. In many states, including Massachusetts, tens of thousands of Democrats have re-registered as Republicans/independents in order to vote in the Republican primary. Republicans fielded 17 diverse candidates, creating a competitive and exciting primary season. Democrats fielded three candidates, all white, and all more than 50 years old.

Here in traditionally deep blue Massachusetts, our Republican governor, Charlie Baker, holds a nearly 80 percent approval rating, and is the most popular politician in the country. Locally, Republicans State Sen. Bruce Tarr, state Rep. Brad Hill, and Essex County Sheriff Frank Cousins are immensely popular and successful in their positions, winning re-election handily for years. Two members of the Gloucester Republican City Committee, Sean Nolan and Joseph Orlando Jr., won seats on Gloucester’s City Council in 2015. Earlier this month, Rockport Republican Town Committee member Don Campbell won election to the Rockport Board of Selectmen.

Friends, as you can see, the truth is that we have been winning all along.

Real change in politics happens locally. Local political activists impact state politics, and state political swings impact national politics. And as the past eight years have shown, political shifts happen quickly and with force when activists are motivated to make it happen.

So, I urge all of my fellow Gloucester Republicans to come out of the shadows, and join the fight to change our city, our state, and our country, for the better. It is possible; it is happening; and you can be a part of it!

Our next Gloucester Republican City Committee meeting is Saturday, May 28 at 9 a.m. at the Magnolia library. Please join us! If you’d like to join our email or mailing list, please email the committee at Follow us on Facebook(Cape Ann GOP) or Twitter(@CapeAnnGOP).

We are fired up! Are you?

Amanda Orlando Kesterson

Chairwoman, Gloucester Republican City Committee

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