Voters go to polls in statewide primary

Election season is upon us. — File photo by Ralph Stewart

Massachusetts voters will decide several hotly contested statewide and district primary races when they go to the polls on Tuesday, September 9.

With the departure of Governor Deval Patrick after two terms in office, three candidates hope to carry the Democratic banner into the November general election. Two Democrats are also battling it out for their party’s nomination for attorney general. There is also a three-way race for the democratic nomination to fill the job of state treasurer now held by Steve Grossman, who is a candidate for governor.

Voters, including registered independents (unenrolled), may vote in the primary election but must request only one party’s ballot.

Several candidates have no challenge in the primary but may face opposition in the general election on November 4, from independent candidates whose names do not appear on the primary ballot. Polls open at 7 am and will close at 8 pm next Tuesday.

Following are brief sketches of the candidates in contested Democratic and Republican primaries, based on campaign literature, the responsibilities of the office they seek, and contacts where voters may find more information about individual candidates.

U.S. Senate

Edward J. Markey(D)( of Malden is the incumbent running unopposed for the Democratic nomination, after winning a special election in June, 2013, to fill the seat of John Kerry, who was appointed Secretary of State. He lists climate change, clean energy, safeguarding privacy, nuclear non-proliferation, investor protection, and preserving an open Internet as priority issues.

Brian J. Herr (R)( of Hopkinton is running unopposed for the Republican nomination. He lists reducing the federal work force (except military) by 15 percent, eliminating duplicate and inefficient programs, passing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, and imposing term limits on Congress, as issues he would address if elected. He would vote to repeal Obamacare, the federal Affordable Care Act, and redirect the issue to the states to draft their own health plans.


Three candidates for governor appear on the Democratic primary ballot:

Donald M. Berwick (D)( of Newton, who also owns a seasonal home in Chilmark, is a pediatrician and former Obama administration health care official. He identifies jobs and the economy, education, and health care as key issues. He advocates single payer government health insurance, like Medicare, for all citizens.

Martha Coakley (D) ( of Medford is the current attorney general for Massachusetts. She lists jobs, education, healthcare, and civil rights among her primary issues, and says she is dedicated to the principles of opportunity, fairness, and equality.

Steven Grossman (D)( of Newton is Massachusetts state treasurer, a leading figure in numerous charitable organizations, and the former chairman of the local and national Democratic Party; he stresses his private sector business skills. He includes jobs, earned sick time, and education as top issues.

Two candidates appear on the Republican primary ballot:

Charles O. Baker (R)( of Swampscott is a former Secretary of Administration and Finance under Governors Weld and Cellucci, and former CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. He is focused on the issues of economic growth, schools, and safer, stronger communities.

Mark R. Fisher (R)( of Shrewsbury is the owner of Merchant’s Fabrication in Auburn, a metal manufacturing facility, and identifies himself as a member of the Tea Party. He lists fraud against government programs, immigration, taxes, and gun rights among his primary issues.

Lieutenant Governor

Three candidates seek the Democratic party nomination:

Leland Cheung (D)( of Cambridge is a Cambridge city councillor, and highlights private sector experience in the technology industry.

Stephen J. Kerrigan (D)( of Lancaster is a former selectmen in Lancaster, and he served as an advisor to Senator Edward M. Kennedy.

Michael E. Lake (D)( of Boston is the CEO of Leading Cities, a research collaborative that advocates for business development and government-to-government cooperation.

Karyn E. Polito (R)( of Shrewsbury is running unopposed in the Republican primary. She is a former state legislator who owns a commercial real estate firm.

Attorney General

The attorney general is the chief lawyer and law enforcement official for the Commonwealth.

Two candidates are running for the Democratic nomination to replace Martha Coakley, who is a candidate for governor:

Maura Healey (D)( of Boston has worked in leadership positions at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office. She includes civil rights, a clean energy economy, and community engagement among her primary issues.

Warren E. Tolman (D)( of Watertown is a former state representative and state senator. He lists mandating smart gun technology, fighting opiate abuse, and combating campus sexual assault as top issues for his candidacy.

John B. Miller (R)( of Winchester is a civil engineer and attorney in the private sector, running unopposed for the Republican nomination. He said he is running to fight public corruption, protect consumers, and combat crime.

Secretary of State

The secretary of state regulates corporations, elections, public records, and securities.

William Francis Galvin (D)( of Boston, secretary of state for 19 years, is running unopposed for the Democratic nomination.

David D’ArCangelo (R)( of Malden, running unopposed for the Republican nomination, is a Malden city councillor and founder of a public relations firm.


The treasurer manages state finances including the Department of Revenue, the state lottery, and state pension plans. Three candidates seek the Democratic nomination:

Thomas P. Conroy (D)( of Wayland is a state representative with experience in the financial industry. Education, the environment, financial literacy, and income inequality are among his primary issues.

Barry R. Finegold (D)( of Andover is a state senator and attorney in private practice. Investing in the economy, small business, families, and schools are the focus of his campaign.

Deborah B. Goldberg (D)( of Brookline is a former Brookline selectman and former executive at Stop & Shop, which her family founded. She includes wage equality, a college savings plan, financial literacy, and free tax preparation as her goals.

Michael James Heffernan (R) ( of Wellesley, running unopposed for the Republican nomination for treasurer, is a technology entrepreneur and former banking executive. He describes himself as fiscally responsible and socially progressive, concerned about per-capita debt.


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, a former state representative and the incumbent auditor, is unopposed for the Democratic nomination.

Patricia S. Saint Aubin (R) ( of Norfolk is a former financial executive with experience in the banking, insurance, and hospital sectors. She is unopposed on the Republican ballot.

Representative in Congress

The congressman represents the Massachusetts 9th district, including Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and Cape Cod, as well as parts of Bristol and Plymouth counties. FourRepublicans seek their party’s nomination, to face the incumbent Democrat:

William Richard Keating (D) ( of Bourne, the incumbent congressman, is unopposed on the Democratic ticket. He includes creating small business jobs, educational opportunity, strengthening middle class families, and improving domestic security as his top issues.

Mark C. Alliegro (R)( of Falmouth is a scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, and a professor at Brown University. His campaign is focused on jobs, economic growth, economic freedom, and health care reform.

John C. Chapman (R)( of Chatham is an attorney who has held government posts in the Reagan administration, with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and with Governor Mitt Romney. He lists restoring fiscal discipline, economic growth, energy, and veterans as primary issues.

Vincent A. Cogliano, Jr. (R)( of Pembroke is a former radio and television broadcaster and an entrepreneur. His campaign is focused on jobs, tax reform, and small business growth. He opposes Obamacare and advocates free market reform of healthcare.

Daniel L. Shores (R)( of Sandwich is an attorney in private practice. He includes limited government, secure borders, a balanced budget amendment, and economic growthas top priorities in his campaign.

Governor’s Council, First District

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

There are four candidates on the Democratic ballot: incumbent Oliver P. Cipollini, Jr. ( of Barnstable; Joseph C. Ferreira ( of Somerset; Alexander Kalife( of New Bedford; and Walter D. Moniz( of New Bedford.

The are no candidates on the Republican ballot.

Senator in General Court

The state senator represents Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and Cape Cod, except for the towns of Bourne, Sandwich, and Falmouth. Republicans will field two candidates.

Daniel A. Wolf (D)( of Harwich is the incumbent state senator and CEO of Cape Air, running unopposed for the nomination. Among his top issues are putting people to work, education, health care, and energy.

Ronald R. Beaty, Jr. (R)( of Barnstable calls himself a Tea Party Republican, who favors limited government, fiscal responsibility, individual liberty, and adherence to the U.S. Constitution.

Allen R. Waters (R)(  of Mashpee says he stands for social, educational, and economic progress for all Americans through self determination, self control, hard work, civility and respect.

Representative in General Court

The state representative’s district covers Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and West Barnstable.

Timothy R. Madden (D)( of Nantucket is the incumbent state representative, running unopposed on the Democratic ticket. There are no candidates on the Republican side.

District Attorney

The Cape and Islands district attorney leads prosecution of approximately 15,000 criminal cases each year.

Michael D. O’Keefe (R)( of Sandwich is the incumbent district attorney, running unopposed for the Republican nomination.

Richard G. Barry (D)( of Barnstable is a former assistant district attorney and a criminal lawyer, running unopposed for the Democratic nod.

Register of Probate

Elizabeth J. Herrmann (R) of Edgartown is the incumbent, running unopposed in the Republican primary. No candidates are named in the Democratic primary.

County Treasurer

No candidates appear on the primary ballots. Incumbent treasurer Noreen Mavro Flanders runs as an independent (unenrolled) candidate, and appears on the November election ballot.

County Commissioner

The county commissioners set policy and make appointments for Dukes County government. Running for reelection in the Democratic primary are incumbents John S. Alley (D) of West Tisbury, Leon Arthur Brathwaite (D) of West Tisbury and newcomer David Jeffrey Holway (D) of Edgartown.

There are no candidates named on the Republican ballot. Others running as independent (unenrolled) may appear on the November ballot.

TownVoting Locations

Polls open at 7 am and close at 8 pm.

Aquinnah: Old Town Hall; Chilmark: Community Center; West Tisbury: Public Safety Building; Tisbury: Public Safety Facility; Oak Bluffs: Public Library meeting room; Edgartown: Town Hall meeting room.