Several Massachusetts Cities Elected Socialists Last Week

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It wasn’t a bad week to be a socialist in Massachusetts last week.

That’s because political candidates who identified as socialists enjoyed some electoral success in some of the more left-wing cities in the state.

In Somerville, for instance, multiple socialists won in the city election.

Two of the four candidates in Somerville who won at-large city council seats identify as democratic socialists:  Willie Burnley Jr. and Charlotte Kelly. Burnley Jr. got 9,712 votes (16.7 percent), while Kelly got 9,675 (16.7 percent).

Both Burnley and Kelly have roses in their Twitter bios, an indication that someone is a democratic socialist. They were endorsed by the Boston Democratic Socialists of America chapter — which mostly backs candidates who identify as socialists. Kelly has tweeted about being a socialist; and The Boston Globe referred to Burnley as a socialist in an April 2021 story on him.

The two at-large city-councilor-elects will be newcomers to the Somerville City Council.

Two  socialists won re-election in the city:  J.T. Scott and Ben Ewen-Campen. In his re-election bid in Ward 2, Scott got 1,661 votes (65.1 percent); he frequently identifies as a socialist on Twitter. Meanwhile, Ewen-Campen ran unopposed; he is a Boston Democratic Socialists of America member, according to In These Times.

Neighboring cities also elected socialists.

A democratic socialist won re-election to the Cambridge city council:  Quinton Zondervan. The city uses ranked-choice voting, which is time-consuming to calculate, and had not released its official election results as of the start of this week. However, it’s clear from preliminary results that Zondervan’s re-election bid succeeded.

Zondervan’s Twitter bio describes him as a “proud DSA member.”

Neighboring Boston also got a democratic socialist on its city council:  Kendra Hicks in District 6.

Hicks ran as a democratic socialist, according to The Bay State Banner. She ran a tight race and beat Mary Tamer 51.5 percent to 48.2 percent in an open seat race; Tamer is a former Boston School Committee member and a former president of the League of Women Voters of Boston, a group that supports pro-abortion women political candidates.

And in Medford, the incumbent democratic socialist Zac Bears won his re-election bid for city councilor. He got 6,786 votes, the second most out of any of the seven candidates who won a seat on the council. Bears is a Democratic Socialists of America member, according to the Boston DSA’s web site.


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