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Many are seeing this special-election upset in Massachusetts as the beginning of a larger referendum on marriage.

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GOP Wins State Race in Kerry Country

Many are seeing this special-election upset in Massachusetts as the beginning of a larger referendum on marriage.

“A referendum on marriage.” That’s how Republican Scott Brown described his victory in the recent special election for a state senate seat in Massachusetts. Brown, a state legislator, U.S. Army Reserve major, and one-time Tufts University basketball player, won the seat vacated by Democratic State Sen. Cheryl Jacques, who left to become national head of the Human Rights Campaign. Brown’s defeat of Democrat Angus McQuilken, Jacques top aide, was stunning because it came in a district that is only 17% Republican and it was accomplished on the same day, March 2, that favorite son John Kerry was sweeping the state’s presidential primary. McQuilken’s campaign featured recorded phone endorsements from both Kerry and Sen. Ted Kennedy. The Democrat had strong financial backing from gay groups and the Massachusetts Federation of Teachers. To be sure, Brown is not an all-out social issues conservative. Like Gov. Mitt Romney (R.-Mass.), he describes himself as “a fiscal conservative and social moderate” and “pro-choice with exceptions” on abortion. But because McQuilken backed abortion on demand and called for full implementation of the state Supreme Court ruling on gay marriages, Brown ended up decidedly to the right of his opponent in these areas and won enthusiastic backing of social-issues activists. “I had a neighbor who came up to me and said in the 15 years I had been a selectman and state representative, she had never voted for me,” Brown told HUMAN EVENTS. “But this time she would vote for me because of my stand on marriage.” Brown’s strong opposition to new or higher taxes also secured him support from state anti-tax groups and the National Federation of Independent Business. Recalling how liberal Republican Governors William Weld and Paul Cellucci “did nothing for me” in any of his previous campaigns, Brown noted that Romney raised money and campaigned at bus stops with him. The regular legislative elections in Massachusetts this year are particularly critical because the legislature will decide whether issues such as tax rollbacks and gay marriage will go to voters as initiatives in 2006. Democrats now hold a 40-to-7-seat edge over Republicans in the senate and a 137-to-23-seat advantage in the House. With Romney’s encouragement, however, more than 135 Republicans have already filed to compete for seats in both chambers this year.

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John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â? video interviews that appear on HumanEvents.com. Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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