Only One of Conservative Democrat Jeff Turco’s Primary Opponents Openly Supporting Him In General Election

Printed from:

Jeff Turco is the heavy favorite to win the Nineteenth Suffolk District special election in Winthrop and parts of Revere on Tuesday, but does he have the backing of the Democrats who ran against him in the primary?

One will, but the others won’t say.

As of the start of this week, only one of the other three candidates who was in the Democratic primary race had formally said that he planned to vote for Turco.

NewBostonPost reached out to all three of them asking this question on Sunday afternoon, and as of Monday afternoon, Valentino Capobianco was the only one to pledge his support.

Capobianco, a Winthrop resident who served as the chief of staff for state Senator Paul Feeney (D-Foxborough) before running for state representative, told NewBostonPost in an email message that Turco has his support.

“Jeff is an honorable man and ran an honorable campaign,” Capobianco wrote. “I’ll be voting for him Tuesday as the Democratic nominee.”

Politically speaking, Turco, a former Winthrop town council president, was to the right of the other three candidates he ran against in the Democratic primary. He was the candidate in the race who supported former President Donald Trump in 2016, had made it clear in the past that he does not believe in abortion, and donated money to U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) in 2020.

The other candidates in the race were:  Revere resident Juan Jaramillo, who 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, 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); and Winthrop resident Valentino Capobianco, who was the subject of controversy in the race in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations from men and women alike. He has denied wrongdoing.

In the wake of Turco’s March 2 primary win where he received 36.2 percent of the vote — 6.1 percentage points more than the runner-up, Jaramillo (30.1 percent) — Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts tweeted that Turco won’t have its support. Instead, the fund said it will support a pro-abortion candidate who runs against him.

“Jeff Turco is dangerous and has no place on Beacon Hill,” Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts tweeted. “And if he wins, we’ll be there in 2022 to primary him and elect a candidate who will champion the sexual and reproductive rights of their community.”

It’s unclear if any of the three candidates who ran against Turco this time around plan on primarying him in 2022.

Turco could not be reached for comment on the matter on Sunday or Monday.

The special election is taking place because former House Speaker Bob DeLeo (D-Winthrop) resigned at the end of December to take a job at Northeastern University. DeLeo sought re-election in November 2020 and ran unopposed.

Turco is running against Republican Paul Caruccio of Winthrop and the unenrolled Richard Fucillo of Winthrop in the general election, which is set for Tuesday, March 30.

The district heavily favors Democratic candidates.

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).