Massachusetts Republican Party grande dame Polly Logan, 88, died on September 30, a day when the national GOP showed again how it has become the antithesis of what she stood for.
Polly, who lived on the South Shore, was a former Republican National Committeewoman, State Committeewoman, head of the Massachusetts Republican Club and more. She was a Frank Sargent type of Republican, socially liberal and fiscally conservative, in short, a classic New England Republican. She could weave coalitions from people of different factions, and could energize young people about the nobility and fun of politics. Her astute skills, and her ready laugh (a cackle that could be recognized in a crowd of hundreds), made her a force to be reckoned with.
She was a feminist and proud of it and was to the left of her party, even back when her party was measurably much less conservative than it is today. She loved entertaining, at her home in Hingham and later at her residence in Cohasset. It was nothing for her to have a tent thrown up in her backyard, with ample food and beverage, and, even if a rain storm turned the ground to a bog and mud was tracked all over her living room, she laughed it off. There was nothing as satisfying to her as a boisterous political gathering.
Reporters loved her. She never pulled her punches. She told the truth with fierce honesty and humor. Though she was born in Iowa and went to college in Nebraska, she fit right into Boston, whose airport was named for the uncle of her husband, the late General Ed Logan. She served as an advisor to Governor Frank Sargent and was part of the transition team for Governor Weld and late Lt. Gov. Paul Cellucci. She was an overseer at Harvard and the Museum of Fine Arts and was a founder of the Doric Dames State House Guides. According to the family, she was also a founder of the Mass. Women’s Political Caucus and a board member of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. How perfect that she also founded the Garden Club of Cohasset.
I was pleased when Polly asked me to serve on the founding board of the Polly Logan Fund at the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Its work mentoring young women to go into politics is a fitting tribute to this iconic woman, whose imprint is left on so much of Massachusetts and who will long be remembered for her contributions.