Fewest ever contested state legislative primaries in Massachusetts

Massachusetts has 33 contested state legislative primaries on September 3, 2024, the fewest since Ballotpedia started tracking in 2010.

There are 27 contested Democratic primaries and six contested Republican primaries. For both parties that is below the average from 2010 to 2022. The average number of contested Democratic primaries was 36.9 and the average number of contested Republican primaries was 8.3.

In addition to having fewer contested primaries, Massachusetts also has fewer candidates running for state legislative seats in 2024.

There are 279 candidates running in Massachusetts’ state legislative primaries, the fewest since Ballotpedia started tracking in 2010 and about 15.6% below the 2010 to 2022 average of 330.4.

Of all candidates, 218 were Democrats and 61 were Republicans, these were record lows for both parties.

All 200 seats of the Massachusetts General Court are up for election in 2024.

There are 181 incumbents running for reelection. From 2010 to 2022, the average number of incumbents running for reelection was 179.7.

Eighteen incumbents, or about 9.9% are facing primary challengers in 2024. Between 2010 to 2022, an average of 19.1, or 10.6% of incumbents faced a primary challenger. 

Nineteen incumbents did not file for reelection in 2024. The average number of retirements from 2010 to 2022 was 20.3.

In Ballotpedia’s annual State Legislative Competitiveness report, Massachusetts received the lowest competitiveness index of all states holding elections in years that it had state legislative elections since 2016. 

Massachusetts has had a Democratic trifecta since 2023, when Governor Maura Healey (D) assumed office. Since 1992, the state has had 10 years of Democratic trifectas and no Republican trifectas.