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Trump-backed candidate Diehl hopes to fend off moderate Doughty in Republican gubernatorial primary


Policy

The result will show how Republicans in Massachusetts still embrace Trumpism.

Chris Doughty, left, and Geoff Diehl, right. John Tlumacki, Globe Staff/Steven Senne, AP Photo

Although Trump endorser and former state lawmaker Geoff Diehl is the favorite to win the Republican gubernatorial primary on Tuesday, it is uncertain whether he will emerge victorious over businessman and moderate Chris Doughty. .

An August 25 poll found that while 42% of Republicans said they would vote for Diehl and 27% that they would vote for Doughty, 31% were still undecided.

  • Trump-backed candidate Diehl hopes to fend off moderate Doughty in Republican gubernatorial primary

    Live Scores: 2022 Massachusetts Primary Elections

If Doughty won the majority of undecided voters, he could edge out Diehl.

Given former President Donald Trump’s wholehearted endorsement of Diehl, the race to become the Republican nominee for Massachusetts governor has been called a litmus test of whether Republicans in Massachusetts will embrace Trumpism more.

But whoever wins Tuesday night, that nominee will face an uphill battle against Democratic giant and current state attorney general Maura Healey in November.

In recent days, Trump has doubled down on his support for Diehl, who also won the endorsement of the state’s Republican Party.

The day before the primary, Diehl hosted a ‘tele-rally’ where the former president called Doughty a RINO [Republican in Name Only] and criticized Republican Governor Charlie Baker.

“Working people in Massachusetts need a real conservative in the governor’s mansion – it’s time you got one,” Trump said.

Diehl’s campaign also aired Trump’s praise of Diehl, tweeting graphics with quotes from the former president about Diehl.

Meanwhile, Doughty went in the opposite direction, calling for a compromise in the state and arguing he’ll have a better shot against Healey in November because he’s more moderate.

“We have to work towards the middle, we have to unite people”, Doughty says 7News On Monday, also telling WCVB, “I think in Massachusetts, [Trump’s endorsement] doesn’t have much weight at all.

The two candidates showed significant differences during their primary campaigns.

While Diehl, who was Trump’s Massachusetts campaign co-chair in 2016, embraced Trump’s bogus claims of a stolen election, Doughty said he believes President Joe Biden was legitimately elected.

Additionally, while Diehl opposed COVID-19 safety measures and welcomed the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, Doughty focused on issues such as the rising cost of living in Massachusetts and said he was “pro-life” but accepts state support for abortion.

But the two candidates did not argue much face to face during their campaigns. Although they participated in a debate in July, Diehl declined to debate Doughty again in August.

Here are Boston.com’s interviews and questionnaires with Doughty and Diehl.



Boston

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