Baker faces pushback over Lyons fundraiser
By Christian M. Wade, The Daily News of Newburyport (Excerpts)
Gov. Charlie Baker will headline a fundraising event for Andover state Rep. Jim Lyons, which has drawn criticism from Democrats and liberal groups who point out that the Republican conservative has bucked the governor on transgender protections, abortion and LGBT rights.
Lyons, who is running for a fifth term representing the 18th Essex District, frequently criticizes the Legislature’s Democratic leadership and opposes same-sex marriage, transgender protections and abortion rights — policies that Baker has embraced.
Andover attorney Tram Nguyen, a Democrat challenging Lyons in November, said Baker’s support for Lyons suggests he’s pandering to conservatives.
“As a governor that is holding himself out to be a moderate Republican who is pro-choice and supports LGBTQ rights, I find it troubling that he is embracing such a far-right legislator,” Nguyen said. “Lyons’ views are so extreme that he can’t even get fellow Republicans in the Legislature to support him.”
Lyons is leading efforts to repeal a law banning discrimination against transgender people in public spaces, which Baker signed two years ago, she noted.