DEMOCRATS SET TO SEIZE TEN OPEN HOUSE SEATS
By Katie Lannan
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, AUG. 7, 2018....Ten races for open Massachusetts House seats are on track to be decided in the Sept. 4 primaries, when voters in a total of 45 House and Senate districts will have competitive contests on their ballots.
All 160 House and 40 Senate seats are up for election this year, and most lawmakers -- 23 senators and 87 representatives -- will cruise into another term without a challenger officially on the ballot. Twenty incumbents have primary opponents.
Of those, only four -- one senator and three representatives -- have challenges in both their party's primaries and in the Nov. 6 general election.
Democrats Sen. Jason Lewis of Winchester, Rep. James Hawkins of Attleboro and Rep. Colleen Garry of Dracut, and Sandwich Republican Rep. Randy Hunt each have opponents from both parties looking to unseat them.
Hunt is the only Republican in either branch of the Legislature with a primary challenger, current Barnstable County Commissioner Ron Beaty.
Ten new Democrats will be poised to join the House after the primary, with no Republicans on the ballot for those open seats.
Contests for three now-vacant seats will be decided on Sept. 4 -- those last held by Sens. Nick Collins of South Boston and Brendan Crighton of Lynn and the late Rep. Peter Kocot of Northampton -- and voters will pick successors for outgoing Reps. Stephen Kulik of Worthington, Solomon Goldstein-Rose of Amherst, Cory Atkins of Concord, Jay Kaufman of Lexington, Frank Smizik of Brookline, Juana Matias of Lawrence and Evandro Carvalho of Boston.
Matias is one of 10 Democrats running for Congress in the Third District, and Carvalho is one of five running for Suffolk District Attorney.
Two seats opened up after this year's filing deadline, so the official ballots in those districts don't reflect the way races ultimately shaped up.
After the May 2 death of Rep. Chris Walsh of Framingham, the Framingham Democratic Committee opted against caucusing to nominate a candidate for his seat, leaving no names on the ballot and creating an opportunity for write-in campaigns.
In the Amherst-based Senate district last represented by former Sen. Stanley Rosenberg, several Democrats have launched write-in efforts. The only candidate whose name will appear on the ballot is Chelsea Kline of Northampton, who entered the race before Rosenberg resigned in May.
In four House districts with open seats, voters on both sides of the aisle will have competitive primaries. Those races are for the seats last held by the late Rep. James Miceli of Wilmington and former Rep. James Cantwell of Marshfield, and the seats Reps. Geoff Diehl of Whitman and Kevin Kuros of Uxbridge are giving up to run for different posts.
Diehl is one of three Republicans vying to unseat U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Kuros will face off against Rep. Kate Campanale of Leicester in the Republican primary for Worcester County register of deeds.
In addition to the four incumbent lawmakers with both primary and general opponents, another 16 face just primary challenges.
The two senators in that group both hail from the western part of the state -- Sen. Adam Hinds, a first-term Democrat from Pittsfield, and Sen. James Welch, a West Springfield Democrat who co-chaired the conference committee that failed to reach a deal on health care legislation by the July 31 end of session.
On the House side, the list includes Assistant Majority Leader Byron Rushing of Boston and four of Speaker Robert DeLeo's committee chairs: House Ways and Means Chair Jeffrey Sanchez of Jamaica Plain; Public Health Committee Chair Kate Hogan of Stow; Public Service Committee Chair Jerald Parisella of Beverly, and Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery Committee Chair Denise Garlick of Needham.
Other incumbent House Democrats in primary fights are: Reps. Robert Koczera of New Bedford, Jose Tosado of Springfield, Rady Mom of Lowell, Sean Garballey of Arlington, Marjorie Decker of Cambridge, Joseph McGonagle of Everett, Liz Malia of Jamaica Plain, Dan Cullinane of Dorchester and Angelo Scaccia of Readville.
Wednesday, Aug. 15 is the last day eligible voters can register with their local elections officials to be able to cast a ballot in the primary.
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