Jeff Turco Wins 19th Suffolk’s Democratic Primary To NARAL’s Dismay

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It looks like Winthrop resident Jeff Turco will be the next state representative from the 19th Suffolk District.

The conservative Democrat and former Winthrop Town Council president prevailed in a four-way Democratic primary on Tuesday night. He led the way with 1,706 reported votes (36.2 percent), as Politico’s Stephanie Murray reports. The special election took place to succeed former House Speaker Bob DeLeo (D-Winthrop) who resigned from the Massachusetts Legislature in December 2020 to take a job at Northeastern University.

Turco won the race by 6.2 percentage points. The runner-up, Revere resident Juan Jaramillo, got 30 percent (1,413 votes).

Jaramillo, the Bernie Sanders-backed candidate in the race, served as budget director for state Senator Joseph Boncore (D-Winthrop) and is the political coordinator for 32BJ SEIU (Service Employees International Union).

Winthrop resident Alicia DelVento came in third. DelVento, who served as a communications director and policy adviser to state Representative Danielle Gregoire (D-Marlborough) and as a legislative aide to then-state Representative Jeffrey Sanchez (D-Jamaica Plain), got 26 percent of the vote (1,224 votes).

Winthrop resident Valentino Capobianco came in a distant fourth place in this race with 7.7 percent support (361 votes). Capobianco served as the chief of staff for state Senator Paul Feeney (D-Foxborough) before running for state representative. He was the subject of controversy in the race amid sexual misconduct allegations — from both men and women. As a result, he lost the endorsements of Feeney, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, and former U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-Newton). Capobianco has denied the charges.

Turco received criticism from the Left in the primary because in the past he expressed pro-life views, supported former President Donald Trump, donated to Republican politicians and causes, and described himself as a Reagan Democrat, although he says he voted for Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.

The head of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, Rebecca Hart Holder, reacted angrily to Turco’s victory. In a written statement Tuesday night, she said:


I am dismayed by Jeffrey Turco’s victory in the 19th Suffolk District Democratic primary. He is a threat to the ROE Act and reproductive freedom who will work to undermine the many victories we achieved for women and pregnant people during Speaker DeLeo’s tenure. Jeffrey Turco wants you to believe that he’s a moderate Democrat. But his Facebook page tells the truth: he is an ardent anti-choice Trump supporter who regularly shares offensive, far-right rhetoric. He has disparaged abortion patients, transgender people, President Barack Obama, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi the same way President Trump did throughout his tenure. While millions of Americans mobilized in 2020 to defeat President Trump and his racist, anti-abortion agenda, Jeff Turco donated to those who sought to keep Trump and his allies in power, including Senator Susan Collins, the woman who single-handedly jeopardized the future of Roe v. Wade and abortion access across the country when she voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the United State Supreme Court. The people of Winthrop and Revere deserve an actual leader representing them at the State House, not a Trumpian politician like Jeffrey Turco.


Meanwhile, Democrats for Life of America praised the win on social media.

“Pro-Life Democrats continue their winning streak,” the pro-life group wrote on Facebook. “CONGRATS JEFF! You are going to make a fantastic representative.”

Turco is now a heavy favorite to win the seat in the general election. He is set to run against Winthrop resident Republican Paul Caruccio, a Republican, and Winthrop resident Richard Fucillo, an unenrolled candidate, in it. The general election is scheduled for Tuesday, March 30.

Caruccio ran for state representative twice (2012 and 2014) against DeLeo, but received fewer than 30 percent of the vote in each race, according to the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office.

The Nineteenth Suffolk District in the Massachusetts House of Representatives includes all of the town of Winthrop and parts of the eastern and central portions of the city of Revere (Ward 1, precincts 1 and 2; Ward 2; Ward 3, precincts 2 and 3; and Ward 5, precinct 3).