63 Massachusetts Republicans Running For State House, Eight For Congress

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2020/06/03/63-massachusetts-republicans-running-for-state-house-eight-for-congress/

The list is nearly official. 

The Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office has a general idea of who will be running for public office at the state and federal level in Massachusetts this year.

For Republicans, that includes two U.S. Senate candidates, six U.S. House candidates, eight Massachusetts Senate candidates, and 55 Massachusetts House candidates.

The state GOP is focused on eight state Senate districts:  the ones held by the four remaining Republican incumbents, the two the party lost in the May 19 special election, and the two seats Democrats won where the margin of victory was fewer than 10 points in 2018.

The latter two districts are the Norfolk, Bristol, and Middlesex (once held by now-former U.S. Senator Scott Brown); and the Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire, and Middlesex.

The Norfolk, Bristol, and Middlesex is a long and narrow district southwest of Boston that runs from Needham in the north to Attleboro in the south, and includes some of the most Republican-leaning towns in the state. In 2018, Democrat Becca Rausch of Needham defeated then-incumbent state Senator Richard Ross, a Republican, 51.2 percent to 48.6.

This year, Matt Kelly, a member of the Franklin Town Council, is challenging Rausch.


The Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire, and Middlesex is a sprawling district west of the city of Worcester that runs all the way from the Connecticut border to the New Hampshire border.

The current state senator is Anne Gobi, a Democrat from Spencer first elected in 2014 and who previously served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. In 2018, Gobi got 54.9 percent of the vote to Sturbridge Republican Steven Hall’s 45.1 percent.

Hall, a small business owner who has not held elected office, is running against Gobi once again. 

Two Republican state senators, Bruce Tarr of Gloucester and Ryan Fattman of Sutton, are running unopposed.

The other two GOP incumbents, Dean Tran of Fitchburg and Patrick O’Connor of Weymouth, have Democratic challengers. Tran is likely to square off against John Cronin, a U.S. Army veteran from Lunenburg, while O’Connor is facing Meg Wheeler, a member of the town advisory committee in Cohasset.

Republicans also hope to flip the Plymouth & Barnstable District, now held by former Falmouth selectman Susan Moran; and the Second Hampden and Hampshire District, a seat now held by former Westfield state representative John Velis. Bourne lawyer Jay McMahon is once again taking on Moran; and Southwick business owner John Cain is once again taking on Velis.

McMahon lost 55 to 45 percent and Cain lost 64 to 36 percent in the May 19 special elections.

In the Massachusetts House of Representatives, the following Republicans are expected to run unopposed:  David Vieira (Falmouth), Steven Howitt (Seekonk), Bradford Hill (Ipswich), Donald Wong (Saugus), Todd Smola (Warren), Marc Lombardo (Billerica), Susan Gifford (Wareham), Alyson Sullivan (East Bridgewater), Angelo D’Emilia (Bridgewater), Kimberly Ferguson (Holden), Peter Durant (Spencer), Michael Soter (Bellingham), David Muradian (Grafton), Hannah Kane (Shrewsbury), and Joseph McKenna (Webster).

In 2018, there were 11 Massachusetts House races with a margin of victory under 10 points. Seven of those were Republican victories and four were won by Democrats.

Close races that Democrats won in 2018 include the 13th Essex, 19th Middlesex, 12th Plymouth, and 18th Essex districts. Competitive races won by Republicans in 2018 include the Second Essex, Eighth Worcester, Fifth Plymouth, Second Barnstable, 12th Bristol, First Plymouth, and First Essex districts.

State Representative Theodore Speliotis (D-Danvers) of the 13th Essex, who won by fewer than three points in 2018, will not seek re-election this year. Democrat Sally Kerans, who held the seat from 1991 to 1997, will face Peabody Republican Robert May.

Additionally, state Representative Dave Robertson (D-Tewksbury), who won by 4.8 percent last time, faces Tewksbury Republican Alec DiFruscia; state Representative Kathleen LaNatra (D-Kingston), who won by 5 percent last time, will face Summer Schmaling, chairman of the Halifax Elementary School Committee and Halifax Republican Town Committee; and Tram Nguyen (D-Andover), who won by 9.8 points last time over current state GOP chairman Jim Lyons, will face either Tewksbury resident Jeffrey DuFour or Shishan Wang of Andover, depending on who wins the Republican primary set for September 1.

Republicans also hope to win back the Third Bristol District seat won by Taunton Democrat Carol Doherty, a school committee member and former president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association. On Tuesday, June 2, she beat Taunton Republican Kelly Dooner, a board member of the Massachusetts Young Republicans, 57 percent to 43 percent.

Democrats have a 36-to-4 advantage in the Massachusetts Senate and a 128-to-31 advantage in the state’s House of Representatives.

In federal races, the Massachusetts Republican Party’s U.S. Senate candidates are Dover attorney Kevin O’Connor and Shiva Ayyadurai of Cambridge, who ran as an independent in 2018. The winner of their September primary will face the winner of the Democrats’ primary: either U.S. Senator Ed Markey or U.S. Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III. The Democratic nominee will be a heavy favorite in that race.

There are also Republican candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives in five districts. Democrats currently hold all nine Massachusetts seats in the U.S. House.

Tracy Lovvorn is the likely Republican nominee in the Second Congressional District, as she was in 2018.  The seat is currently held by U.S. Representative Jim McGovern.

In the Fourth Congressional District, David Rosa, the party’s nominee in the race in 2016, and Julie Hall, who unsuccessfully ran for the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 2018 in the Second Bristol district, are facing off in the GOP primary. It’s an open race, because Kennedy, who holds it now, is contesting the U.S. Senate seat this year instead.

Stoneham selectman Caroline Colarusso is running in the Fifth Congressional District against U.S. Representative Katherine Clark.

Billerica Republican John Paul Moran is running in the Sixth Congressional District against U.S. Representative Seth Moulton.

Helen Brady, the party’s nominee for State Auditor in 2018, will run in the Ninth Congressional District against U.S. Representative Bill Keating.

A spokesman for the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office told New Boston Post that Rayla Campbell, a Republican who was running in the Seventh Congressional district, fell short of the required 1,000 signatures to appear on the ballot.

A Republican has not won a U.S. House race in Massachusetts since 1994. 

Candidates have until 5 p.m. on Friday, June 5 to withdraw, and non-party candidates for federal offices have until August 25 to file nomination papers, so the list of candidates may change before September.

A spokesman for the Massachusetts Democratic Party and a spokesman for the Massachusetts Republican Party could not be immediately reached for comment on Wednesday, June 3.