Snyder's Sandwich: Four Vying For Shot At Keating


Four Republicans are battling for a chance to face Congressman William Keating this November in what promises to be an uphill battle to unseat a popular Democrat.

All four were at an event on February 23 at the Sandwich American Legion Post 188 hall, which drew over 200 Capewide Republicans. 

All four candidates are well qualified and will be running using the Obamacare rollout failure and the lack of jobs in the current economy as battering rams to try to get in the door. 

Congressman Keating has been visible on a number of fronts, including helping fishermen in New Bedford (a part of the Congressional district), and leading a charge against the changing FEMA flood maps that have increased the insurance costs on many Cape homes. Of course, Keating and the entire Massachusetts Congressional delegation passed the bill that enabled that new mapping. Keating has also worked on assisting cranberry growers.

Coming in as the favorite on the GOP side was John Chapman, who served as an aide in the White House counsel’s office under President Ronald Reagan, and was a commissioner for the Department of Industrial Accidents under Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. He is an attorney, who has worked for law firms and financial services firms.

Mark Alliegro, a distinguished scientist, researcher and educator, is also in the race. Mark is a senior scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, and a professor of molecular biology, cellular biology and biochemistry at Brown University. A concerned and involved citizen, Mark was a member of the New Orleans Public School Partnership for Education, was named Louisiana School Volunteer of the Year in 2000, volunteered at Hospice Care of Louisiana, and is currently a Falmouth Town Meeting member.


Attorney Dan Shores grew up in Carver, and weeded cranberry bogs and was a logger. He is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire and Georgetown University Law Center. Shores is a practicing attorney in Sandwich. Dan captained the Carver High football and wrestling teams, and served as president of his class for three years.

The final candidate for the 9th Congressional Republican nomination is Vincent Cogliano Jr., a former “Defense Department Contractor of the Year.” Vincent’s business career has seen him work as a radio and TV broadcaster, a corporate trainer teaching management classes, and the founder of several businesses. He served as a selectman in Pembroke from 1996 to 2002, and was chairman of the Plymouth County GOP for more than six years.

The debate in Sandwich showed some cohesiveness among Republicans, who were united in their opposition to the Affordable Care Act, which they noted was to have taken 30 million uninsured citizens and enrolled them all for heath insurance at a savings of $2,500 per family. What has happened, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, is that an estimated 35 million will have no insurance at the end of this decade, millions more jobs will be lost, and according to the Pioneer Institute, health insurance rates (of which Massachusetts in now highest in the nation) will go up another 90 percent in Massachusetts, and from 20 to 200 percent in the other 49 states in the coming years.

All candidates were united on repealing the so-called Obamacare. They all unanimously called for a balanced budget amendment in Congress. Moderator Jeff Perry, special sheriff for Barnstable County (and a former candidate for this Congressional seat) did a great job keeping things tight and on schedule. Questions were asked by a panel that consisted of Dave Neal, Pat Stebbins, Gene Parini, and Kathy Barrett.

A straw poll following the debate had Alliegro winning with 112 votes, followed by Cogliano Jr. (48), Chapman (33), and Shores (25).

Do any of these folks have a chance to unseat Congressman Keating? Their best chance may lie in the failure of Obamacare, which Keating voted for, and has defended; and the high unemployment in Massachusetts and the nation.  But, if social issues take a prominent place in the race, the Republicans could be on the losing end in liberal Massachusetts.

(Disclaimer: I have known Congressman Bill Keating for three decades, and he was a regular guest on my TV shows all during the time when he was a state senator and a district attorney. I was also a delegate for Deval Patrick for governor at the 2006 Massachusetts Democratic Convention. I am now a registered Republican, despite my liberalism on social issues.)

NEXT WEEK: We tackle the Cape Cod Commission. Is it time for Sandwich to save the $155,000 it costs each year to belong to CCC?


SNOWDROPS EVENT A SELLOUT: This very popular annual event to benefit the Shirley G. Cross Wildflower Garden at Green Briar has been scheduled for two days this month, March 19 and March 20. At this time, however, both days are full. The event takes place from 2 to 4 PM at the historic home of Eugenie and Jonathan Shaw in Sandwich Village and includes a tour of the landscaped grounds featuring thousands of snowdrops, one of the largest collections of snowdrops in the country. Following the tour, tea will be served, accompanied by homemade American and Norwegian desserts prepared by Eugenie Shaw. The tea will conclude with an auction of rare spring bulbs and snowdrops. Each participant will also receive a gift of a snowdrop in bloom. The entire $25 fee goes toward the maintenance of the Wildflower Garden. Names will be taken for a waiting list by calling 508-888-6870.

BREWS FOR BOOKS: A fundraising food and beer pairing to benefit the Friends of Sandwich Public Library will be held on Sunday, March 16, from 4 to 6 PM at the British Beer Company, 46 Route 6A in Sandwich. Tickets are $40 a person, and include a variety of beers and food. Tickets are available at the Sandwich Public Library and at Tickets must be purchased by Wednesday, March 12. Proceeds will benefit the Friends, who try to augment the library budget during the year.  

PERCUSSION CONCERT: As part of the Sandwich 375th celebration, there will be a percussion concert at 3 PM on Sunday, March 9, at town hall. Now, really, who doesn’t love percussion? Amy Barber is sure to give an outstanding performance as she plays drums, marimbas, vibraphones, and even flower pots! Free admission.

ARTS IN ACTION: A fundraiser for Sandwich 375th and the new STEM Academy will be held on Sunday, March 23, from 1 to 5 PM at town hall. There will be 20 artisans in the building who will demonstrate how they create their masterpieces. And, you’ll have the chance to own your own through the silent auction! Free admission.

IT'S A GALACTIC TEDDY BEAR PICNIC: On Saturday, March 8, from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM, Sandwich Public Library presents the 9th Annual Teddy Bear Picnic. Pack up your teddy bear (or favorite 'stuffy'), a picnic lunch and bring a blanket. This picnic will take place in the galaxy, but don't worry no space suits are required this time. Guest performer Vanessa Gregory will play her ukulele and everyone gets to sing and dance along. Please register as space is limited. (If your plans change please let the children's room know—508-888-0625, extension 305—so that another child may attend.) Remember to bring your lunch, teddy (or other friend) and a blanket to spread out as everyone enjoys a picnic among the stars!

Mark Snyder, who has written more than 1,880 articles in newspapers and magazines, and published three books, is the CEO of, the Internet’s entertainment superstation. Have a story idea? He can be reached by e-mail at, on Facebook (Snyder’s Stoughton), and on Twitter (MediaMan2009). Write him via snail mail at Box 639, East Sandwich.   


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