WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) – A conservative challenger to Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has qualified for the September primary election.
Scott Lively, a Springfield pastor who strongly supports President Donald Trump, received nearly 28 percent of the vote of the nearly 2,400 delegates to the Republican state convention in Worcester on Saturday, well over the 15 percent needed to advance to the primary.
Baker, a moderate, won the endorsement of the convention, but with just under 70 percent of the vote.
Party officials were hoping to avoid sharp divisions at the convention between delegates loyal to President Donald Trump. Baker is seeking a second term and has been popular with independents and even many Democrats.
Later at Saturday’s convention in Worcester, three Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate qualified for the September primary ballot in Massachusetts. State Rep. Geoff Diehl received the endorsement of GOP delegates, with 55 percent of the vote.
Beth Lindstrom, who served in the cabinet of former Republican Gov. Mitt Romney, and businessman John Kingston both received more than 15 percent of the vote, the threshold needed to qualify.
The winner of the primary will take on Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren in November.