Five Massachusetts state legislative special elections scheduled for Tuesday

Photo credit: City of Boston Archives

One special election and four special primaries are scheduled for March 3 for five vacant seats in the Massachusetts Legislature. Voters will have until 8 p.m. local time to cast their vote. The special general elections for the four races with primaries is March 31.

Two of the special primaries are for seats in the state Senate.

In the Second Hampden & Hampshire District race, state Rep. John Velis is unopposed in the Democratic primary, and 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.
In the race for the Plymouth & Barnstable Senate 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.

The remaining three special elections are for seats in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

The Thirty-second Middlesex District is holding the special general election. Kate Lipper-Garabedian (D) and Brandon Reid (R) are facing off for the seat. Reid made the special election ballot after mounting a successful write-in campaign in the special Republican primary. 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.

In the race for the Thirty-seventh Middlesex District seat in the state House, 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.

In the race for the Third Bristol House 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. Gov. Charlie Baker (R) was re-elected to a second term in 2018.

As of February, 33 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2020 in 15 states. Between 2011 and 2019, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.

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

Additional reading:
Massachusetts General Court
Massachusetts State Senate
Massachusetts House of Representatives




About the author

Jaclyn Beran

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

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