Massachusetts Democrats are converging on Lowell this afternoon for the fun part of their annual convention: the convention-eve parties.
Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray is throwing a bash, while Senate candidates such as Alan Khazei and Marisa DeFranco are holding smaller receptions. The host committee is also having a party organized by former Lowell City Councilor Curtis LeMay.
In addition, there's a Young Democrats bash at the Brewery Exchange.
Tomorrow, the working part of the weekend begins when gavel drops at 10 a.m. Attorney General Martha Coakley, Secretary of State William Galvin, Auditor Suzanne Bump, and Treasurer Steve Grossman will all handle formalities such as introducing the invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance.
Then Lowell Mayor James Milinazzo will speak, followed by state Senator Eileen Donoghue, US Representative Niki Tsongas, and UMass-Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan.
Finally, Murray and Governor Deval Patrick will speak before six Democrats who have declared they will seek the party's nomination to challenge US Senator Scott Brown next year.
They are Somerville activist Bob Massie, Salem immigration lawyer Marisa DeFranco, Newton Mayor Setti Warren, and City Year co-founder Alan Khazei, as well as two new entrants: state Representative Tom Conroy of Wayland and Herb Robinson, an engineer from Newton.
"I’m going to talk about putting the government back in the hands of the people people-power vs. big money and economic equality," DeFranco said during an interview.
Massie said: “We have a long tradition of being great, and we need to return to that tradition to tackle the huge challenges we face today.”
Chuck Gilboy, Warren's spokesman, said: "I don’t want to preview it too much, but he’ll be speaking about his values, why he’s gotten into the race. We feel it’s gotten a good reception around the state.”
A Khazei spokesman said his speech was still in development but will pivot off the successes he's seen as he's traveled around Massachusetts and how to build off of them.
There is no expectation that there will be any other Senate speakers, since they would have to have been declared candidates as of today.
Massachusetts Republicans expect there will be plenty of Brown-bashing, if for no other reason than to distract from the ongoing federal corruption trial of former House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi.
"Four weeks into the DiMasi trail and the Democrats are desperate to change the subject," said Nate Little, executive director of the state GOP. "In federal court, we have seen the way business gets done on Beacon Hill and the elected officials in that Lowell convention hall have not done a thing about it. They will spend the day attacking an honest, hardworking public servant, but not a word will be uttered in that Hall of Shame about the epidemic of corruption on Beacon Hill."
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.