Bay State GOP backs rookie politicians to challenge veteran Democrats
Boston — Two businessmen -- both self-made millionaires and political conservatives -- have come through the recent Massachusetts Republican state convention with flying colors, even though neither previously has sought or held public office.
Raymond Shamie, an industrialist bent on unseating Democratic US Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, is the choice of GOP activists for Senate.
John R. Lakian, founder and head of an investment managing firm, is the delegate endorsee for governor.
To make it onto the November election ballot, however, each must survive the Sept. 14 primary.
Challenging Mr. Lakian for the gubernatorial nomination may be all three candidates he bested for the delegate endorsement -- State Reps. William G. Robinson and Andrew H. Card Jr. and former head of the Metropolitan District Commission Guy A. Carbone - plus former Boston City Councilor John W. Sears, who bypassed the convention.
Mr. Shamie, whose senatorial campaign began last fall with full-page newspaper advertisements attacking the performance of Senator Kennedy, scored better than a 3-to-1 delegate victory over Dr. Mildred F. Jefferson, a physician and nationally prominent anti-abortionist.
While perhaps less well known than other candidates who have campaigned for these two high offices, Lakian and Shamie do not view their low profiles as potential obstacles.
They and their supporters are convinced that their newness to the campaign scene will be an asset.
Both are pledging to bring better management to government and can be expected to draw on their own resources to assure high-visibility campaigns.
Although Republicans comprise only 15 percent of the Massachusetts electorate , state GOP leaders are encouraged by Ronald Reagan's victory in the commonwealth on the 1980 presidential ballot.
Senator Kennedy, considered by many the most deeply entrenched officeholder in the Bay State, has held his seat since 1962, often facing little more than token Republican ballot opposition.
Democrats have held the governorship for the past eight years. A stiff intraparty battle for this year's nomination between incumbent Edward J. King and two challengers, former Gov. Michael S. Dukakis and Lt. Gov. Thomas P. O'Neill III, could benefit the Republican opposition.