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Geoff Diehl woos own party with Noem visit, continues to ignore Baker’s example

Boston Herald logo Boston Herald 8/11/2022 Matthew Medsger, Boston Herald

It’s clear Geoff Diehl really wants Republicans to vote for him, judging by his company Thursday morning, and that may be precisely why his campaign isn’t making real progress.

“I’m thrilled to be here with Geoff today to talk a lot about what’s going on in Boston and talk about how new leadership is necessary in some of these areas of the country to really promote freedom,” South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem said.

The Mount Rushmore state’s leader, notable for her recent swift call for legislative action to criminalize nearly all abortion in her state, stood next to Diehl in Boston’s North End in front of Paul Revere’s bronze statue around 11 a.m.

She said she was visiting the Bay State to get a sense of how the pandemic had affected area workers.

Noem said that unlike Massachusetts, South Dakota had not shut down during the global pandemic that has killed more than 1 million Americans and hadn’t fired any police officers or firefighters for failing to vaccinate when ordered to by government agencies.

That was a message quickly taken up by Jay McMahon, the party’s unopposed presumptive nominee for Attorney General, who said if he were to be the top law enforcement officer, then every one of those fired officers would be returned to work.

Diehl, too, took up the call of those affected by the pandemic’s shutdowns and restrictions, noting that the North End was simultaneously fighting smaller post-COVID crowds and higher fees from Boston for outdoor dining.

Diehl then outlined a plan to help expand charter school options for parents in Massachusetts, supporting so-called “school choice.”

Diehl doesn’t have the primary on lock, but there are things going for him.

Diehl has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump, though Trump hasn’t yet stumped in support of him or done more than voice his endorsement. He’s the party nominee. He was, as of the most recently available polling, leading in the primary race against self-funded Wrentham businessman Chris Doughty, despite a huge financial deficit between their campaigns.

None of that will help him win the corner office.

Polls show Massachusetts residents view the overturning of Roe v. Wade with 76% disapproval, wanting it to be a national law and not a state issue. The pandemic measures were widely supported, reducing the length of early waves and subsequent deaths. Voters in the state rejected a charter school expansion ballot measure in 2016.

Few of Diehl’s positions, his endorsements and/or his gripes seem likely to fall on enough ears to help him beat Attorney General Maura Healey in November. For whatever reason the centrism that sent widely popular Gov. Charlie Baker to Beacon Hill twice in demonstrably progressive Massachusetts has entirely eluded him.

He may need to find it to beat Healey, whose $5.3 million cash on hand is more than 125 times what Diehl has available. She’s beating him in the polls with no primary of her own to run in. Her stances run right along the Democratic party’s national platform and in line with the voters of the state.

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