New England Taking Center Stage as an Ultra-Right Versus Ultra-Left Battleground

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With two more primaries to go in New England, the picks so far in the six states that make up the east coast region show that far-right Republicans are winning in high-profile contested primaries.

The biggest upset came in Connecticut when newcomer Leora Levy, who won an unexpected 11th-hour Trump endorsement, beat out party favorite and moderate Themis Klarides for the party nomination for U.S. Senate.

The same happened in Massachusetts where Geoff Diehl won the gubernatorial ticket against moderate Republican Chris Doughty, and in Vermont where Christina Nolan, the favored contender lost to right-wing U.S. Army veteran Gerald Malloy, another newcomer to election politics.

Malloy has the advantage of facing a newcomer on the Democratic side with Patrick Leahy, a Democrat who has held the seat for nearly 50 years, chose against running for another term.

Now it’s New Hampshire and Rhode Island’s turn and both states are showing some similar trends.

Republican candidate for R.I. Gov. Ashley Kalus. (Courtesy of Ashley Kalus)

Ultra-conservative Don Bolduc is leading the pack according to polls in their bid to take on Democrat Maggie Hassan for her U.S. Senate seat.

Trailing Bolduc is House Speaker Chuck Morse, a moderate who won the endorsement of New Hampshire’s Gov. Chris Sununu.

Sununu is seeking re-election to a fourth term and while there are plenty of anti-Sununu Republicans in the state, they say the pool of hard-right candidates gunning for his ouster is probably not strong enough to pull it off.

However, in Rhode Island, another long-time sitting governor Dan McKee, a Democrat, is actually facing the very good possibility of being the first incumbent governor to be ousted in this year’s midterm elections by a party contender.

Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea has been showing a consistent slight lead over McKee in the four-candidate race for the Democratic ticket. She is an ultra-progressive’s dream candidate.
If elected Gorbea would be the first Latina governor to emerge out of New England.

She also partnered with drag queens in a national drag-out-the-vote campaign and has been critical of McKee for not supporting more stringent mask mandates, as conservatives use the implementation of mask mandates as a weapon against opponents.

But Gorbea is also facing a very popular candidate on the Republican side.

Ashley Kalus, a Golden Glove boxing champion who was raised by a single mother, is pro-choice, pro-Second Amendment, pro-parental rights, and leading all the gubernatorial candidates in campaign funds.

The mother of three boys has punched especially hard at what she has called the liberal agendas that have crept into the public schools.

Nicole Solas, a senior fellow for the Independent Women’s Forum, knows a great deal about that subject.

A Rhode Islander herself, Solas rose to political stardom when she confronted her local school district over liberal ideologies teachings, enough so that she landed on the cover of the New York Post with the titled question “Domestic Terrorist?”

She believes that candidates like Kalus owe their successes in the polls to a woke agenda that overstepped its boundaries even for progressives.

“Candidates win by focusing on common sense issues that have historically transcended typical politics,” Solas told The Epoch Times. “Republicans win when they say the quiet parts out loud that Democrat voters secretly want to hear.”

General election wise, in fact, in all the big races of New England, it appears to be boiling down to ultra-right vs ultra-left.

Diehl is taking on drag queen and planned parenthood promoter Maura Healey, similar to Kalus’s matchup with Gorbea.

In Connecticut, Levy is taking on senior Democrat Richard Blumenthal. Besides being one of the wealthiest members of the Senate with a net worth of more than $100 million, he is considered one of the most liberal.

In New Hampshire’s District 1 primary, the top two contenders, Karoline Leavitt and Matt Mowers, both pretty squarely right-wingers, are looking to unseat Chris Pappas, the first openly gay member of Congress who serves as co-chair Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus.

In Maine, right-winger and former Maine Gov. Paul LePage, who ran uncontested in the Republican primaries, is taking on ultra-liberal Gov. Janet Mills, who implemented one of the strictest COVID mandate policies, now the subject of a pending U.S. Supreme Court challenge.

In the bid for a U.S. House seat in the northernmost New England state, Republican nominee Bruce Poliquin will be facing off against Democratic incumbent Jared Golden.

Golden is considered an inverted version of a RINO Republican, having been the only Democrat this year to vote against Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief package.

In 2020, he was also the only member of Congress to split his vote on impeaching Donald Trump and has voted against gun control legislation.

Nevertheless, he is welcomed by big name Democrats including Nancy Pelosi who has deemed Golden—Democrat enough, as affirmed by such endorsements as one from the The League of Conservation Voters, which commended the Maine Congressman for his commitment to fight climate change.

Alice Giordano

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Alice Giordano is a former news correspondent for The Boston Globe, Associated Press, and New England bureau of The New York Times.