Former US Attorney Michael Sullivan, one of three Republicans running for Secretary of State John Kerry's open Senate seat, gave remarks during the GOP Breakfast in Scituate on March 17. The Master of Ceremonies was state Senator Bob Hedlund.
Former US Attorney Michael Sullivan, one of three Republicans running for Secretary of State John Kerry's open Senate seat, gave remarks during the GOP Breakfast in Scituate on March 17. The Master of Ceremonies was state Senator Bob Hedlund.
DinaRudick/The Boston Globe

SCITUATE—It may be 30 miles from the traditional St. Patrick’s Day breakfast in South Boston, but Scituate held its own Shamrock-studded breakfast on Sunday morning, a Republican answer to the Southie show that draws a who’s who of Democrats in the state.

“It’s a little tradition that has grown. We’re competing a bit with the South Boston festivities,” said State Senator Robert Hedlund who emceed the event, now in its fourth year. “This is certainly not on the scale of Boston. But this is getting better every year,” he said. “The Boston one is getting too sterile… It’s too predictable.”

More than 100 people, clad in shades of emerald, showed up to the Scituate Country Club for corned beef and digs at the Democrats.

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Two Republican Senate hopefuls, Michael Sullivan and Gabriel Gomez, spoke, while the third candidate, Representative Dan Winslow, elected to attend the Southie invent instead. Plymouth County Sheriff Joseph McDonald, Jr., Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz, and State Representative Geoff Diehl also took their turn at the microphone.

State Party Chair Kirsten Hughes, a professional actress and singer, sang “Danny Boy,” as she often does at local St. Patrick’s Day events.

While the barbs flew across the fence, speakers rallied behind all three Republican candidates, recognizing that the party will be in for a difficult general election fight against the Democratic nominee, either US Representative Stephen F. Lynch, or fellow Representative Edward J. Markey.

“I say this in all seriousness,” said Reed Hillman, a former candidate for Lieutenant Governor, speaking on behalf of Winslow. “Dan Winslow and I are both committed to unequivocally supporting whoever the nominee is . . . Three great candidates, any one of them we would be blessed to have in Washington.”

Though the Scituate breakfast is a fraction of the size of the Southie event, those in attendance said it is refreshing to have an alternative to the Democratic dominated gathering on St. Patrick’s Day.

Gabriel Gomez noted that he wasn’t even invited to the South Boston breakfast.

“I think the people down in Southie are scared of the Republicans going there,” Gomez told a reporter. “They’re worried we’re gonna show them up. They’re worried we’re gonna get our conservative Republican ideas out there, and that were going to shine over the Democrats. And I think they’re afraid, so they didn’t invite us.”

Janet Fogarty Kelley, who started the breakfast, called the Republican event more inclusive than the Democratic one – but admitted, laughing, that she did not invite the Democrats out to Scituate.

“I guess – maybe not all that inclusive,” she said.