The state Senate seat formerly held by Anthony Galluccio, which stretches from Saugus to Brighton, contains considerable ethnic and economic diversity. Residents deserve a forceful advocate. In Tuesday’s Democratic primary, the Globe endorses Tim Flaherty, a lawyer and former prosecutor from Cambridge. (There are no Republican candidates for the seat.)
Like his five rivals, Flaherty touts himself as a strong progressive. And like most, he expresses skepticism about some aspects of the state’s successful education reforms. Even so, Flaherty would deal with issues in a more thoughtful way. While supportive of union rights, he is open to at least some measures to help local governments save on employees’ health costs. He supports a destination casino but not racetrack slot machines.
Flaherty also shows an innate political savvy. That’s not surprising; he is the son of a former House speaker, and acknowledges taking contributions from big-name lobbyists once associated with his father. Such connections rightly give pause to some voters. Tim Flaherty insists that he will remain independent, and offers a powerful argument for doing so: Charles Flaherty’s career ended when he pleaded guilty to tax charges, and Tim Flaherty says he has learned from his father’s mistakes.
Also worthy of consideration is Dennis Benzan, another Cambridge lawyer. With good reason, Benzan argues that Democrats should look for candidates outside traditional political circles, and his willingness to consider merit pay for teachers is encouragingly iconoclastic. But Flaherty is likely to be the more effective voice in the Senate.