November 20, 2017/Press Releases

Massachusetts Democrats Demand Baker Rescind Support of Extremist Candidate for State Senate 


Monday, November 20, 2017


Emily Fitzmaurice, Massachusetts Democratic Party, 617-939-0808

Massachusetts Democrats Demand Baker Rescind Support of Extreme Sexist, Homophobic Candidate for State Senate 

BOSTON – In the wake of revelations that the chosen Republican candidate in next month’s State Senate special election is vehemently opposed to women’s rights and transgender rights, the Massachusetts Democratic Party is calling on Governor Charlie Baker to immediately rescind his support of Dean Tran.

“Charlie Baker can try to say all the right things about how he supports women, access to healthcare, and civil rights but he’s thrown his endorsement behind Dean Tran and his unapologetic, extremist positions on women and the LGBTQ community,” said Massachusetts Democratic Party Chair Gus Bickford. “The Governor can’t have it both ways. Either he supports women and the transgender community or he supports Dean. It’s time to choose, Governor.”

During a debate on Saturday on Fitchburg’s public access television station, Tran came out against Governor Baker’s pledge to support Planned Parenthood with additional state funding if Washington Republicans follow through with their threats to defund Planned Parenthood. The Republican plan would prohibit anyone with Medicaid health insurance, including MassHealth, from using that insurance at Planned Parenthood health clinics.

Tran, who previously opposed the opening of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Fitchburg, said he “would not be for any public funding going to Planned Parenthood.” Tran also has a history of receiving donations from staunch anti-choice groups including the Massachusetts Citizens for Life.

“Especially at a time when women’s rights are under constant assault, the women of our district cannot afford to be represented at the State House by someone that wants to further strip away our rights and access to healthcare,” said Representative Natalie Higgins (D-Leominster).

During the same debate on Saturday, Tran was asked whether he supports repealing the transgender civil rights law signed by Governor Baker last year. Tran compared members of the transgender community to “sexual predators.”

“Dean’s uninformed and atrocious comments about the transgender community are especially inflammatory today as we mark Transgender Day of Remembrance, which honors the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence,” continued Bickford. “It’s inexcusable that the Governor would back a candidate that peddles such hateful rhetoric.”

Democratic State Senate candidate Sue Chalifoux Zephir has been endorsed by the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts, state and local officials from the district, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Treasurer Deb Goldberg, and various groups and unions representing working families. Chalifoux Zephir, the only candidate in the race who supports a woman’s right to choose, has not only repeatedly said she supports the transgender civil rights law and increasing access to healthcare – she will fight to defend these rights as State Senator.

The full debate on Fitchburg-Leominster All Politics can be found here.