Wow. Our experiment is off to a great start—let's see if we can finish it off sooner than expected.
On Tuesday, after a handful of Republican candidates with statewide name recognition had signaled they weren't interested, Massachusetts state Rep. Dan Winslow announced he was forming an exploratory committee for the special election to replace former Democratic Sen. John Kerry. Winslow, who is pro-choice and has been previously endorsed by gay rights groups, has been viewed as a rising star in the state party for a few years now (see this profile in Commonwealth magazine in 2011), but would face an uphill challenge if he runs. Reps. Stephen Lynch and Ed Markey are vying for the Democratic nomination.
Prior to launching his exploratory committee, though, Winslow's most noteworthy political move was becoming perhaps the only pol in American history to hold a photo op while playing beer pong. The "Beer Pong and Politics Networking and Fundraiser," held at Boston's Battery Park Bar and Lounge in September 2011, gave attendees a chance to mingle with their representative while partaking in the national sport of 18–24-year-olds. As Winslow told the Medfield Press, "The idea is to encourage participation by people not typically involved in politics. It's as much a 'friend-raiser' as a 'fund-raiser'"—hence the low ticket price ($25, open-bar included). Per the Press, Winslow played with water in his cups instead of beer.
Here's the logo for the event, per its Facebook page:
And here's Winslow's promotional tweet:
Beer Pong and politics.Join us after work in the Financial District, Tuesday, Sept. 20 at the Alley at Batterypark. icont.ac/dsyW— Dan Winslow (@danwinslow) August 28, 2011
Winslow isn't the only Republican interested in the race. The Hill reported that the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee has also approached former Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez about running for the seat.
Winslow hasn't responded to a Mother Jones inquiry about the his pong skills, but we'll update if we hear back.