Massachusetts Democrats select new state party chairman

QUINCY, Mass. (AP) — Massachusetts Democrats have picked their new state party chairman.

Members of the Democratic State Committee selected Gus Bickford on Monday night at a meeting in Quincy to lead the Massachusetts Democratic Party.

Bickford is a political consultant and a one-time executive director for the party. He narrowly beat out Stephen Kerrigan, the 2014 Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, with 156 votes to Kerrigan’s 148 on a second ballot. Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins dropped out after the first ballot and urged Democrats to support Bickford.

Bickford will succeed state Sen. Thomas McGee, of Lynn, who is relinquishing the party chairmanship after three years.

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The party will soon turn its focus to 2018, when Democrats will try to reclaim the governor’s office from Republican Charlie Baker.

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