From The New York Times
As the lone Democrat seeking to challenge Elizabeth Warren
in the Senate primary in Massachusetts, Marisa DeFranco has been ridiculed, admonished and, worst of all, ignored.
But for the moment, Ms. DeFranco
, an immigration
lawyer with high energy and a scrappy band of volunteers, is enjoying a burst of momentum. She surprised party insiders by collecting enough valid signatures by the May 1 deadline — more than 10,000, gathered everywhere from town meetings to town dumps — to qualify for the Democratic primary on Sept. 6.
If Ms. DeFranco clears one more hurdle — winning 15 percent of the delegate vote at the state Democratic convention in Springfield next Saturday — she will secure a spot on the primary ballot, giving Ms. Warren, a nationally known consumer advocate, an unwanted distraction from her anticipated showdown with Senator Scott P. Brown
, the Republican incumbent.
“I’m sick and tired of party bosses or machines telling us who’s going to be the candidate,” said Ms. DeFranco, who is 41. “The democratic process should be messy; it’s a test, it’s a gauntlet.”
Ms. DeFranco tartly dismissed Ms. Warren’s recent call for Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, to resign from the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York after his company revealed that it had lost at least $2 billion in bad trades. “Who’s not going to be for firing Jamie Dimon?” she said. “It’s kind of like a throwaway. Tell me what you’re going to do that’s going to change the average person’s life in Massachusetts.”
Nor has Ms. DeFranco refrained from criticizing Ms. Warren’s handling of a controversy over whether she had misrepresented herself as a member of an ethnic minority
, which stemmed from a Boston Herald article last month. The Herald reported that Harvard Law School, where Ms. Warren teaches, had once described her as American Indian when it was under criticism for hiring too many white men.
Ms. Warren has said she is descended from two tribes, saying she was told so by her family, but has offered no documentation. She has also not explained why a Harvard official described her to The Harvard Crimson as a Native American in 1996.