John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
Stacey Yasutovich, a 20-year-old student and church youth director from Franklin hooted “Whoo hoo!” and stood to cheer when US Senator Scott Brown took the stage this morning at the convention. She was thrilled to be attending her first convention at a moment when the Republican party’s fortunes in Massachusetts seem more promising than they have in her lifetime.
“Oh my gosh, I’m so pumped because I’ve always been a minority being a Christian,” she said of the Republican revival in Massachusetts. “The minority is finally going up and fighting and going through the barriers. I’m just, like, out of my mind!”
Not everyone was quite so demonstrative. But the optimism was palpable among the 3,100 delegates at today’s convention, many of whom were newly engaged in politics and appearing at a convention for the first time. And, unlike four years ago, when the party was dwindling, so many Republican candidates are running now that the delegates actually had to decide who would get some statewide nominations.
“We didn’t have any contested seats; there was no energy,” said David Vieira, a delegate from Falmouth and a candidate for state representative. “We had a state committee that was out of touch with this party,” he added, praising Jennifer Nassour, the new state party chairwoman, for helping to revitalize it and recruit more than 170 candidates. “Scott’s election put that energy behind this party and Jennifer is really bringing back some energy to the party,” he said.
“This is exciting because there’s more candidates. There’s a lot more buzz,” said Mary Beth Fraser, a delegate from Franklin attending her third convention. Compared to the 2002 convention, where Mitt Romney made an eye-popping, slick debut before the crowd, the 2010 convention “feels more folksy, friendly, like one big party.”
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