Belsito (D) defeats Snow (R) in Massachusetts House special election

A special general election was held for the Massachusetts House of Representatives 4th Essex District on Nov. 30. Jamie Zahlaway Belsito (D) won the special election with 2,504 votes, or 55.4% of the total, defeating Robert Snow (R).

Belsito is the first Democrat to win election to the district since 1858.

Special Democratic and Republican primary elections were held on Nov. 2. The filing deadline passed on Sept. 28.

The special election was called after Bradford Hill (R) resigned from office on Sept. 15 to be appointed to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. Hill represented the 4th Essex District from 1999 to 2021.

As of December, 66 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 21 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year. Massachusetts has held 45 state legislative special elections from 2010 to 2020.

Entering the special election, the Massachusetts House of Representatives had 129 Democrats, 29 Republicans, and one independent. A majority in the chamber requires 81 seats. Massachusetts has a divided government where neither party holds a trifecta. The Republican Party controls the office of governor, while the Democratic Party controls both chambers of the state legislature.

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