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Massachusetts Democrats Strategize At Annual Convention In Worcester

WORCESTER (CBS/AP) — Massachusetts Democrats met Saturday in Worcester to debate a new party platform and strategize on ways to unseat Republican Gov. Charlie Baker.

The Massachusetts Democratic Party platform calls for a single-payer health care system, free tuition at the state’s public colleges and universities, and a $15 per hour minimum wage.

Edward Markey spoke at the convention and blasted President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. Markey also said he thinks the President obstructed justice, “The president has obsructed justice by firing James Comey and shared classified information with the Russians in the oval office.”

Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is up for election next year took aim at the Republican health care bill.

“They’re trying to take healthcare from 23 million Americans and raise cost for middle class families, and to give tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires. That’s where Donald trump wants to go,” Warren said.

However, not all Massachusetts Democrats are enthusiastic about the party’s direction. Massachusetts Democratic Representative Richard Neal said the party’s recent electoral failure was because the party failed to identify with the average American.

First time delegate Cheryl Harding of Dorchester said she came to see what the Democrats would do differently.

“We need to look at criminal justice system and how social equality plays into that and equity plays in to that and that it’s fair across the board,” Harding said.

Talking about the Massachusetts Democratic Party’s platform, the Massachusetts Republican Party says that any moderate Democrats are welcome to change parties.

“In response to these efforts to purge moderates, the MassGOP is welcoming disenchanted Democrats with open arms. Digital ads – including a Snapchat Geofilter Ad, will greet attendees of this weekend’s convention, highlighting the Party’s extreme positions, and encouraging them to join Republicans in pushing for commonsense reforms and lower taxes,” a spokesman for the Massachusetts Republican Party said.

Baker, who remains popular in polls of Massachusetts voters, faces re-election next year.

The three announced Democratic candidates for governor — Newton Mayor Setti Warren, environmental activist Robert Massie and Jay Gonzalez, a budget official under former Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick — will address delegates.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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