Races Around The State: Metro West

John McKenna

RMG News

Part I — Out West

Part II — Worcester County

Part III — Merrimack Valley

Part IV — North Shore

The fifth stop on our tour of Massachusetts takes us to Metro West, which is that area just west of Boston. For our purposes, this means Southern Middlesex County and Northern Norfolk county. While only 4 Republicans represent this area, it does have the potential to be competitive each election year, and 2012 is no exception.

Continued after the break

Congressional Races

Fourth Congressional:The race to fill Barney Frank’s seat seems like a lock for Joseph Kennedy III After all, he’s a Kennedy, and this is Massachusetts. However, Sean Bielat, who gave Frank his toughest race of his career, is also running, and looking to win. There is also David Steinhof and Elizabeth Childs, who touts endorsements from Gov. Bill Weld, former GOP chairwoman Jenn Nassour, and Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, making for a rather interesting GOP Primary. Kennedy also has to deal with two other primary opponents, Herb Robinson and Rachael Brown, but it seems like Kennedy will coast to a primary victory.

Fifth Congressional: Jeff Semon, Frank Addivinola, and Tom Tierney will all be contesting for the right to take on Ed Markey in November. Semon at this point appears to be the frontrunner, but this is a tough district for Republicans, given Markey’s seniority in DC, and in the Massachusetts delegation.

State Senate Races

Fourth Middlesex: Former Congressional Candidate Gerry Dembrowski is trying his luck again 2012, this time for State Senate against Ken Donnelly, who won unopposed in 2010, and grabbed 61% of the vote in 2008. Dembrowski is clearly the underdog, but may be able to profit off of his failed 2010 race in terms of name recognition. He garnered 32.2% of the vote, which would already be more than the GOP opponent in 2008, and maybe a smaller voter pool could bump that number higher.

Finances: Dembrowski: N/A, Donnelly: $38,030.73

First Suffolk and Middlesex: Incumbent Anthony Petruccelli has over $12,000 in the bank for this race, which given the fact part of the district is in the Democratic fortress of Boston, should be an indicator to his strength in this election. His opponent, Thomas Dooley, has not reported finances yet, but he is a definite longshot.

Finances: Dooley: N/A, Petruccelli: $12,005.36

Second Suffolk and Middlesex: Belmont Democrat Will Brownsberger won a Special Election last January to fill the seat vacated by Steve Tolman, and will try to win a full term of his own. His opponent is Steven Aylward, who became this district GOP state committeeman. This heavily Democratic district will be an uphill struggle for Aylward, but this could be competitive solely because of Brownsberger’s youth.

Finances: Aylward: N/A, Brownsberger: $5,025.76

State House Races

Third Middlesex: Two-term incumbent Kate Hogan might be vulnerable this time around. She won 56.3% of the vote against Chuck Kuniewich in 2010, when Kuniewich was an Independent. Against a formal Republican, she squeaked out an 878-vote win in 2008. This time, Kuniewich is that Republican, which will add strength to his name, in addition to his hefty war chest. Charlie Baker won this district in 2010, so a Republican has a good chance to win here.

2010 Governor’s Race: Patrick (D): 45.3%, Baker (R): 46.9%

Finances: Kuniewich: $2,190.76, Hogan: $10,033.42

Fourth Middlesex: Stephen Levy was one of the new Republicans in 2010 when he defeated Danielle Gregoire by 100 votes. To keep his job, he might have to face her a second time, assuming she can get by Joseph Collins first in the Democratic primary. Gregoire won in 2008 by 748 votes, which highlights the competitiveness of this area. Levy will have to withstand the expected surge of Democratic support in 2012 to keep his job, but this is a district that Baker won, which gives him a crucial advantage.

2010 Governor’s Race: Patrick (D): 43.3%, Baker (R): 48.6%

Finances: Levy: $15,045.82, Gregoire: $1453.35, Collins: N/A

Seventh Middlesex: Tom Sannicandro cruised to victory in 2010, and won unopposed in 2008, so he is without doubt favored to win. His opponent is the head of Ashland’s board of selectman Jon Fetherston, who Sannicandro called an “agressive campaigner” in his latest fundraising appeal. The district tilts Democrat, but if Fetherston is as agressive as Sannicandro says he is, this could be on both parties’ radar screen in November.

2010 Governor’s Race: Patrick (D): 49.1%, Baker (R): 43.4%

Finances: Fetherston: $3,715.00, Sannicandro: $20,705.50

Eighth Middlesex: Carolyn Dykema won this district in 2008 to replace retiring Republican Paul Loscocco, who briefly became Tim Cahill’s running mate in 2010. However, this is one of the more Republican districts in Middlesex County, and former congressional candidate Marty Lamb is running this time. Lamb won 38% of the vote against Jim McGovern, and has a lot of money left over to give Dykema a run for her money, and Republicans a real pickup chance.

2010 Governor’s Race: Patrick (D): 41.1%, Baker (R): 52.8%

Finances: Lamb: $7,887.10, Dykema: $11,145.76

Tenth Middlesex: Peter Kautoujian has decided to retire, creating a vacancy. Democrats are putting up John Lawn, while Republicans are putting up 24 year old Francis Stanton. Given the high Patrick vote in 2010, it appears Lawn is the frontrunner, but Stanton could make this a close race.

2010 Governor’s Race: Patrick (D): 55.5%, Baker (R): 36.7%

Finances: Stanton: N/A, Lawn: $3,291.46

Eleventh Middlesex: Kay Khan hadn’t faced a challenger during the last two cycles, and now will face one in Greer Swiston, but in this Newton-area district, it will always be a tough hill for Republicans, especially during a presidential year.

2010 Governor’s Race: Patrick (D): 66.5%, Baker (R): 29.5%

Finances: Swiston: N/A, Khan: $36,621.43

Twenty-Third Middlesex: Sean Garballey has won this district unopposed the last two cycles, and given the Democratic nature of this district, it will be difficult for Joe Monju to break through, but he may benefit if the congressional race in this district is competitive.

2010 Governor’s Race: Patrick (D): 63.1%, Baker (R): 29.5%

Finances: Monju: N/A, Garballey: $3,388.73

Twenty-Fourth Middlesex:Bobby Reardon will be looking to succeed Will Brownsberger in this Belmont-area district, but is facing a stiff challenge from Tommasina Olson. This is a district Patrick won, so Olson will have a tough time of it, but when it’s an open race like this one, she can benefit from a one-on-one fight, rather than a party-on-party fight.

2010 Governor’s Race: Patrick (D): 51%, Baker (R): 36%

Finances Not Available

Twenty-Sixth Middlesex: 25 year-old Thomas Vasconcelos will be trying to knock off Tim Toomey, who ran upposed in 2008 and 2010. This will make it hard to win for any Republican, but Vanconcelos is a young candidate, so he might have the energy to really pound pavement and put Toomey on his toes.

2010 Governor’s Race: Patrick (D): 55%, Baker (R): 37.4%

Finances: Vasconcelos: N/A, Smith: $29,988.65

Thirty-First Middlesex: Jason Lewis has been one of the Democratic caucus’ biggest underperformers. In 2008 and 2010, he couldn’t get to 50% of the vote, despite the weakness of his Republican rivals. George Georgountzos may be the guy that takes down Lewis this time, and may be buoyed by Baker’s strong performance here, but it will still be hard due to the higher Democratic turnout in 2012, but this has all the makings of a potentially competitive race.

2010 Governor’s Race: Patrick (D): 43.3%, Baker (R): 49.9%

Finances: Georgountzos: $159.42, Lewis: $44,191.31

Thirty-Fourth Middlesex: Carl Sciortino is virtually untouchable in this Medford-based district, though David Rajcewski will provide at least a noticeable challenge. However, this area gave Patrick 63% of the vote, so it will be hard for a Republican to break through here.

2010 Governor’s Race: Patrick (D): 62.7%, Baker (R): 28.1%

Finances: Rajcewski: N/A, Sciortino: $7,653.77

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