Days after losing a heated House minority leadership challenge t0 Rep. Brad Jones by a 9-7 vote, Holden Rep. Lewis Evangelidis (R-Holden) has gone on the offensive, launching a website to “Take Back Beacon Hill,” and snubbing his party’s leadership.
After losing Wednesday’s vote, Evangelidis immediately criticized the GOP caucus process, claiming he was defeated by “Beacon Hill insiders.”
“The Beacon Hill insiders are a very difficult group to beat and when the Beacon Hill insiders win, as they did today, the citizens of the commonwealth lose,” said Evangelidis in a statement.
Evangelidis and his supporters took the vote personally, voting “present” during the House Speaker vote; the 9 other Republican legislators voted for Jones.
Then, Thursday, the Evangelidis 7(including Shrewsbury Rep. Karyn Polito) launched takebackbeaconhill.com, a “Campaign for a New Direction.”
The site, complete with a parchment colored “Compact with Massachusetts,” reads,
“The Legislature has stopped listening to people.
It has stopped respecting people who work hard and play by the rules. It has paid too much attention to special interests without ever focusing on our interests as citizens.
This can’t go on. We need to go in a new direction.
Put simply, we need to take back Beacon Hill.”
The move essentially fortifies Evangelidis’ position (and that of his followers) as an outsider from his own party leadership over the coming term. While it’s still a question what that will mean politically, some house insiders say it could position him as more of an ally of the House Democrats, allowing easier passage of some of his initiatives. In a twisted way, Evangelidis could end up with more clout than had he won the election.