Field set for March 3 special primaries in Massachusetts

Candidates interested in running for four Massachusetts state legislative special elections had until January 28 to file. The primaries are scheduled for March 3, 2020, and the general elections are on March 31.

Massachusetts State Senate

  • Second Hampden & Hampshire District: State Rep. John Velis is unopposed in the Democratic primary. John Cain is unopposed in the Republican primary. The seat became vacant on January 6, 2020, after Donald Humason Jr. (R) became the mayor of Westfield. Humason was unopposed in his 2018 re-election bid. He faced Democratic opposition in 2016 and won re-election with 60% of the vote.
  • Plymouth and Barnstable District: Rebecca Coletta, John Mahoney Jr., Thomas Moakley, Susan Moran, and Stephen Michael Palmer are running in the Democratic primary. Jesse Brown and James McMahon are facing off in the Republican primary. The seat became vacant on November 29, 2019, after Vinny deMacedo (R) resigned to take a job in higher education. DeMacedo was re-elected in 2018 with 59% of the vote.

Massachusetts House of Representatives

  • Thirty-seventh Middlesex District: Dina Samfield and Danillo Sena are running in the Democratic primary. Malena Chastain and Catherine Clark are facing off in the Republican primary. The seat became vacant on January 8, 2020, when Jennifer Benson (D) resigned to take a job as president of the Alliance for Business Leadership. Benson was unopposed in her re-election bids in 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018. She faced Republican opposition in 2010 and won re-election with 55% of the vote.
  • Third Bristol District: Carol Doherty and Muzammil Nazir are running in the Democratic primary. Kelly Dooner is unopposed in the Republican primary. The seat became vacant on January 6, 2020, after Shaunna O’Connell (R) became mayor of Taunton, Massachusetts. O’Connell was re-elected in 2018 with 62% of the vote.

Democrats control the state Senate by a 34-4 margin with two vacancies and the state House by a 125-31 margin with one independent member and three vacancies. Massachusetts has a divided government, and no political party holds a state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers. Charlie Baker (R) was re-elected to a second term as governor in 2018.

As of January, 28 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2020 in 13 states. Between 2011 and 2019, an average of 77 special elections took place each year. Massachusetts will also hold a special general election on March 3, 2020, to fill another vacant seat in the state House.

Click here to learn more about  Massachusetts 2020 state legislative special elections

Additional reading:
State legislative special elections, 2020 
Massachusetts General Court




About the author

Jaclyn Beran

Jackie Beran is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

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