2018 Legislative Primaries -- Round 1

Over the past month and a half, the Elections and Endorsements Committee (EEC) has been reaching out to candidates in contested Democratic primaries to invite them to fill out our comprehensive policy questionnaire.

The primary election -- Tuesday, September 4th -- is just over two months away, and the summer will move fast. We are thus inviting our members to vote on our first round of legislative primary endorsements.

The EEC discussed the questionnaires that have come in so far and has made the following initial recommendations. However, as a grassroots group, the ultimate decision on whether to endorse lies with you -- the members.

[Voting closed: Friday, July 6th]

MA Senate

First Middlesex

This district, formerly held by Sen. Eileen Donoghue, consist of the city of Lowell and the towns of Dunstable, Groton, Pepperell, Tyngsborough, and Westford.

Three candidates have sought your endorsement:

Donoghue was a conservative Democrat, with an F on our scorecard last year and a D for the last full legislative session, Electing a progressive in this seat could send a powerful message.  Of the three candidates seeking our endorsement, John Drinkwater had the strongest questionnaire and has a history of fighting for working families as the legislative director of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO. The EEC recommends John Drinkwater.


Hampshire, Franklin & Worcester

This district, formerly held by Sen. Stan Rosenberg, spans the Pioneer Valley, with its largest cities being Amherst and Northampton.

Four candidates have sought your endorsement:

There are two other candidates in the race: David Morin sent us a questionnaire that was 99% blank, and Ryan O'Donnell did not turn in a questionnaire. Of the four candidates seeking your endorsement, only Chelsea Kline has secured her name on the ballot; the rest are running sticker campaigns. The district is among the most progressive in the state and deserves a senator who will bring an activist spirit and strong progressive values to the seat. The EEC believes that Chelsea Kline would be such a voice in the Legislature and thus recommends Chelsea Kline.


Norfolk, Bristol & Middlesex

This district, currently held by Republican Richard Ross, is a heavily gerrymandered creation, spanning from Needham and Wayland in the north to Attleboro in the south.
Two candidates are seeking your endorsement:

The district went for Obama in 2012 and Clinton in 2016 (the latter by more than 20 points). A Democrat running a strong campaign would be able to oust Ross. The EEC believes that Becca Rausch is best-positioned of the three candidates in the race (Kris Aleksov declined to fill out the questionnaire) to do so and thus recommends Becca Rausch.


MA House

2nd Bristol

Progressive Massachusetts endorsed former MTA district coordinator Jim Hawkins for the special election for this Attleboro-based district earlier this year. He won the primary handily and went on to beat Republican Julie Hall 52-48 in the general. Hawkins is facing a conservative challenger in the primary and a rematch with Hall in the general. The EEC recommends re-endorsing Jim Hawkins. (Read Jim Hawkins's questionnaire here.)


1st Hampshire

This district, formerly held by the late Peter Kocot, consists of Hatfield, Northampton, Southampton, Westhampton, and Montgomery.

Two candidates are seeking your endorsement:

It is a very progressive district and deserves a representative with an activist mindset and experience willing to take on the problems of centralized leadership in the House. The EEC believes that Lindsay Sabadosa would be such a representative and recommends endorsing Lindsay Sabadosa.


15th Middlesex

This district, currently held by retiring representative Jay Kaufman, consists of Lexington and part of Woburn.

Two candidates are seeking your endorsement:

The other three candidates -- Joe Lahiff, Bill Sweeney, and Matthew Cohen -- did not respond to our invitation. Our chapter in the district, Woburn Welcomes, has endorsed Mary Ann Stewart, citing her "lifelong history of activism and advocacy on education, economic justice, immigration, and the environment" and understanding that "the best policy is crafted both inside and outside the halls of power, when legislators, activists, and people come together to face common needs." We agree. The EEC thus recommends Mary Ann Stewart.


19th Middlesex

This district, formerly held by the late Jim Miceli, consists of parts of Tewksbury and Wilmington. Five Democrats are on the ballot, but only one--Erika Johnson--is seeking your endorsement. Miceli was among the most conservative members of the Democratic caucus, and Trump narrowly won the district in 2016. Electing a progressive to the seat would send a powerful message. The EEC thus recommends Erika Johnson. (Read Erika Johnson's questionnaire here.)


30th Middlesex

This district, currently held by nominally Democratic representative James Dwyer, consists of parts of Reading and Woburn.

Two candidates are seeking your endorsement:

Jim Dwyer, who is retiring, is the second most conservative member of the Democratic caucus (after Colleen Garry -- see below). Four candidates are running to replace him, the two named above as well as Richard Haggerty and Joseph Demers (neither of whom responded to our invitation). Our chapter in the district, Woburn Welcomes, has endorsed Remillard, citing his "willingness to think big on proposals that would bring much needed change to our transportation systems, housing programs, and democratic institutions" and willingness to stand up to House Leadership and the Governor. We agree. The EEC recommends Darryn Remillard.


36th Middlesex

This district, currently held by nominally Democratic representative Colleen Garry, consists of Dracut and Tyngsborough.

Garry is the most conservative member of the Democratic caucus and regularly falls below Republicans in our Progressive Scorecard. She is well-known for a history of racist and transphobic statements and filing legislation to match her discriminatory rhetoric. She has a consistently anti-immigrant voting record and was one of the only Democrats to support Republican Governor Charlie Baker's plan to roll back the ACA's Medicaid expansion in Massachusetts.

Her challenger, Dracut School Committeewoman Sabrina Heisey, would bring a fresh progressive voice to the Legislature. The EEC recommends Sabrina Heisey. (Read Sabrina Heisey's questionnaire here.)


7th Plymouth

This district, currently held by Republican Geoff Diehl (who is running against Senator Elizabeth Warren), consists of Abington, Whitman, and parts of East Bridgewater.

Two candidates are seeking your endorsement:

Electing a progressive to the seat of one of Trump's most vocal supporters in Massachusetts would send a powerful message. Kevin Higgins, a social worker with an impressive history of public service, strongly supports the Safe Communities Act, while Abington Selectman Alex Bezanson stated his opposition to it in our questionnaire. The EEC recommends Kevin Higgins.


Do you like this page?

Showing 6 reactions

followed this page 2018-07-04 10:24:31 -0400
followed this page 2018-07-03 19:44:15 -0400
commented 2018-07-03 16:51:45 -0400 · Flag
I didn’t notice the little arrow down to the right of where I put in my name. When I clicked on it I saw that I got to the voting.
commented 2018-07-03 16:49:02 -0400 · Flag
I don’t see where to vote.
commented 2018-06-25 20:15:40 -0400 · Flag
I am having a difficult time voting, too. I would like to place a vote for Jo Comerford and Lindsay Sabadosa.
commented 2018-06-25 19:42:33 -0400 · Flag
I found this site very confusing. I created an account and then clicked on Members only in order to vote. I kept being asked to sign in and never was able to vote. I wanted to vote because PM has endorsed Chelsea Kline for State Senate in Hampshire, Franklin & Worcester District but I greatly prefer Jo Comerford.
to access member exclusive material, login
via facebook or via Twitter