Massachusetts Republicans Lose Two State Senate Seats in Special Elections

Printed from:

Republicans lost two Massachusetts Senate races Tuesday that had previously been held by the GOP, dropping the party’s number of seats to four out of 40.

In the Plymouth & Barnstable District, Bourne lawyer Jay McMahon, the Republican nominee, lost to Falmouth selectman Susan Moran, the Democrat, 55 to 45 percent.

In the Second Hampden and Hampshire District, John Cain, a Republican businessman from Southwick, lost to John Velis, a Democratic state representative from Westfield, 64 to 36 percent, according to

The Plymouth & Barnstable District had previously been held by Vinny deMacedo, a Plymouth Republican who resigned in November to take a job at Bridgewater State University.

The Second Hampden and Hampshire District had previously been held by Donald Humason, a Republican who resigned in January after being elected mayor of Westfield.

Gus Bickford, chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, called the results “a bad night for Donald Trump” and “a sign of things to come in a few months,” referring to the general election in November.

Jim Lyons, chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party, acknowledged that the special election losses sting, but he noted the unique circumstances amid the coronavirus emergency and said the party will press forward with a coherent message this fall.

“Disappointed,” Lyons said in a text message to New Boston Post, “… However, we are committed our plan to build this party from the ground up. This election was unlike any in history. We are looking forward to November. The differences of our message and the message of radical Democrats are stark. We will continue to promote the vision of America and the Republican Party, the message of freedom, individual liberty, personal responsibility, and a free enterprise system. We believe that our message will resonate with the voters of Massachusetts. This is a critical time in our history and the radical Democrats are committed to fundamentally change our country. We are committed to Keep America Great.”

The Second Hampden & Hampshire District wasn’t close. Cain, the Republican, won the city of Agawam narrowly and also won the small towns of Granville. Montgomery, Russell, and Tolland, as well as his hometown of Southwick.

But Velis took Westfield, the largest municipality in the district, by nearly 2 ½ to 1, and also won by big margins in Holyoke and Easthampton.

The Plymouth & Barnstable District race was closer. Moran’s victory was fueled by a Proposition 2 1/2 override election in Falmouth, where she is a selectman.

McMahon won four of the six towns in the district (Plymouth, Bourne, Kingston, and Pembroke) and was competitive in Sandwich, which Moran won.

But Moran won Falmouth by a two-to-one margin. And it wasn’t just the percentage that beat McMahon. Falmouth drew 40 percent more voters than Plymouth (6,609 to 4,709) despite having about half Plymouth’s population (about 31,500 to about 60,800).

NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts congratulated Moran, seeing it as a victory for the abortion-expansion ROE Act bill in the state legislature.

Both special election races could see a rematch in November. Cain told he is planning to run again in the regular election cycle. McMahon has also already qualified for the Republican primary in September.