A special primary election was held on February 4 to fill a vacant seat in the 32nd Middlesex District of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Melrose city councilor Kate Lipper-Garabedian defeated Ann McGonigle Santos and Mathew Helman in the Democratic primary. According to the Melrose Patch, Republican write-in candidate Brandon Reid has received enough votes to appear on the special election ballot on March 3.
The seat became vacant on November 18, 2019, when Paul Brodeur (D) was sworn in as mayor of Melrose. Brodeur had served in the state House since 2011. He was unopposed in his re-election bids in 2016 and 2018. He faced Republican opposition in 2014 and won re-election with 66% 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 February, 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 special primary elections on March 3, 2020, to fill four vacant seats in the state legislature.
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