State election contests offer clear choices


Voters will decide several hotly contested statewide races on Tuesday, November 2. Polls in all towns open at 7 am and close at 8 pm.

Following are brief sketches of the candidates for state office, based on campaign literature, published interviews, and the responsibilities of the office they seek. We include contact information for voters to use to find more information about individual candidates.


Deval Patrick (D) of Milton and his running mate, Tim Murray of Worcester, seek reelection to a second four-year term. Mr. Patrick, a former assistant U.S. Attorney for the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, has emphasized his strong support of Cape Wind ( Mr. Patrick has moved aggressively to support wind and solar energy projects and signed the Oceans Act, which identified areas off the Vineyard coast for wind power development. During a recent Vineyard visit, he said, “We’re going to have to get serious about breaking our dependence on oil and gas.”

On immigration, Mr. Patrick has supported granting in-state tuition rates to graduates of Massachusetts high schools who are in the country illegally and granting driver’s licenses to all adults who pass the tests, regardless of their immigration status, according to the Boston Globe.

Charles Baker (R) of Swampscott and his running mate, state senator Richard Tisei of Lynnfield, have emphasized fiscal conservatism and job growth ( Mr. Baker is the former CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare. Mr. Tisei is a longtime seasonal resident of Edgartown.

Mr. Baker is critical of Cape Wind and the costs associated with Mr. Patrick’s wind energy policies. At an Island wind forum he attended in August, he said, “I’ve never been able to figure out how the math works.”

Mr. Baker said he supports “putting strict laws and polices into place that require state agencies to verify the legal status of applicants before providing state benefits.”

Tim Cahill (I) of Quincy is the state treasurer. He is running what many pundits and most polls consider to be a long-shot campaign as an independent ( His running mate, Paul Loscocco, abandoned the ticket because, he said, Mr. Cahill had no chance of winning.

Mr. Cahill said the state needs to consider nuclear power, natural gas, wind and other sources in place of conventional power supplies. He said state and local police should have the ability to check an individual’s immigration status during routine investigations to ensure safety and lawfulness.

Jill Stein of Lexington (, the gubernatorial candidate, and Rick Purcell (Green-Rainbow) of Holyoke, candidate for lieutenant governor, run on a platform that includes creation of green jobs and a focus on small business.

Attorney General

The Attorney General is the chief lawyer and law enforcement officer of the Commonwealth and represents the state in many matters in which the Commonwealth is a party.

Martha Coakley (D) of Medford (, is seeking reelection to a second four-year term after her defeat in the special election for U.S. Senate. Ms. Coakley said she has been a champion of taxpayers, consumers, businesses, children, and senior citizens.

She said she has been a steadfast defender of civil rights. She also said she wants tougher enforcement of illegal immigration laws and supports Secure Communities, a federal program designed to identify and deport illegal immigrants arrested for serious crimes.

James P. McKenna (R) of Millbury ( is a former assistant district attorney who mounted a successful write-in campaign to earn a spot on the ballot. He said he would tackle government corruption and consumer fraud. He takes a tough line on immigration. He said, “When anyone is arraigned before a court they should provide proof of citizenship. There should be no jobs for illegal immigrants and we need to go after the employers who hire illegals.”

Secretary of State

William Francis Galvin (D) of Boston ( has been secretary since 1995. As the chief information officer of Massachusetts, he said he will continue to spotlight issues that affect the average citizen.

William C. Campbell (R) of Woburn ( opposes election day voter registration and supports voter identification requirements.

James D. Henderson (I) of Stow, a lawyer, told the Globe that after almost two decades of the same administration, “We will all benefit from a new approach, untainted by the Beacon Hill culture.”


The treasurer manages state finances including the Department of Revenue, the state lottery, and state pension plans.

Steven Grossman (D) of Newton is chairman of Grossman Marketing Group in Somerville, a leading figure in numerous charitable organizations, and the former chairman of the local and national Democratic parties; he stresses his private sector business skills ( He said he would “help revitalize the small business sector of our economy, the backbone of Massachusetts’s future.”

Karyn E. Polito (R) of Shrewsbury, a lawyer, is a former selectman and member of the state Lottery Commission. She was elected to the House of Representatives in 2000. She supports pension reform and expanded gaming (

She said she would be willing to stand up and say “no” when Beacon Hill overreaches.


The victor in the general election will replace Joe DeNucci, auditor since 1987. The office of the state auditor “audits the agencies of state government to ensure that funds are spent in an appropriate manner.”

Suzanne M. Bump (D) ( of Great Barrington is a former elected state representative and heads the state’s Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. “As state auditor, protecting taxpayers through fiscal accountability will be the central mission of my office,” she said .

Ms. Bump said she would use the auditor’s job “to advance an agenda on behalf of the taxpayers.”

The Globe recently reported that Ms. Bump and her husband, Paul F. McDevitt, had been receiving residential tax breaks on homes in both Boston and Great Barrington by reporting each as their principal residence. In response, Ms. Bump paid Boston the value of four years’ worth of exemptions.

Mary Z. Connaughton (R) ( of Framingham is a certified public accountant. She was a professional auditor for Ernst & Young and served on the board of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority. She said the auditor is the person responsible for making sure hard-earned tax dollars are spent in the public’s best interest, and she stresses her professional rather than political background.

She said she would file legislation subjecting the House and Senate to a full financial audit.

Representative in Congress

William D. Delahunt, a Democrat, will step down after seven terms in Congress. His successor will represent the Cape and Islands and the South Shore in the House of Representatives.

William R. Keating (D) of Quincy, the Norfolk County district attorney, is running on his record as district attorney and a progressive platform that includes support of gay rights ( and opposition to the war in Afghanistan.

Mr. Keating said he supports Cape Wind because it will help make Massachusetts a leader in the coming green economy, create hundreds of good-paying clean energy jobs and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.

Jeffrey Davis Perry (R) of Sandwich ( is a four-term state representative, a lawyer, and former police officer.

“We need to restrain the federal government to its legitimate Constitutional functions. Our Founding Fathers were most concerned about the possibility of an overly intrusive and powerful central government, and sadly, their fears are becoming true,” he said.

Mr. Perry is opposed to Cape Wind, takes a hard line on immigration, and opposes recently passed health care legislation.

Maryanne Lewis of Scituate (I) ( says, “We need a representative who is not beholden to party leadership or national money. Who will stand up for every citizen in the District. Who will analyze each vote objectively, and one who will work with both parties to put forth commonsense solutions to our country’s most difficult problems.”

Joe Van Nes of West Tisbury (Bring home troops), ( is running on a platform of “bring home the troops” and eliminating the budget deficit.

James A. Sheets of Quincy (I), ( former Quincy mayor, says he is against the health care bill.

State Senator

Daniel Wolf (D) ( of Harwich is the president of Cape Air, the regional airline that serves the Vineyard, Cape, and Nantucket. He is active in community organizations, and his campaign focus includes answering the question, “How can we build an economy that will encourage our wonderful communities to grow while remaining true to their unique characters, creating jobs so the next generation can prosper?”

James H. Crocker Jr. (R) ( of Barnstable is a real estate professional and vice president of the Barnstable town council. “I am running for state Senate to take on the tough challenges of cutting government spending, lowering our tax burden and reviving our economy,” he said.

Councillor First District

The First District includes Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, Nantucket, and Plymouth counties. The Massachusetts Governor’s Council is composed of eight persons and acts on issues that include criminal pardons and commutations and approval of judicial appointments.

Oliver P. Cipollini Jr. (D) ( of Barnstable will face off against his brother Charles Oliver Cipollini (R) ( of Fall River.

Dukes County Sheriff

Three well-known Islanders will compete in the race for Dukes County Sheriff. Interviews with incumbent Michael McCormack and challengers Warren Gosson and Neal Maciel appear in The Times special election section.

County Commissioner

There are three candidates on the ballot and four open seats on the seven-member Dukes County Commission, setting the stage for a write-in candidate.

Incumbent commissioners Tristan Israel of Tisbury, Leslie Leland of West Tisbury, and Melinda Loberg of Tisbury are running unopposed for a two-year term.

Incumbent Carlene Gatting of Edgartown who was undecided about seeking another term has since decided to seek reelection as a write-in candidate.

Ben Hall Jr. of Edgartown has also decided to run as a write-in candidate for the open seat.

Martha’s Vineyard Commission

There are nine names on the ballot for nine open seats on the Island’s powerful regulatory body: John Breckenridge of Oak Bluffs, Christina Brown of Edgartown, Peter Cabana of Tisbury, Christopher Murphy of Chilmark, Katherine Newman of Aquinnah, Douglas Sederholm of Chilmark, Linda Sibley of West Tisbury, Holly Stephenson of Tisbury, all incumbents seeking reelection, and Erik Hammarlund of West Tisbury.

Regional School District

Voters in West Tisbury, Chilmark and Aquinnah will be asked to elect the members of the up-Island regional school committee.