Races Around the State: Out West

RMG News this week will be touring the state’s electoral landscape, from the very top of the ticket to the very local, giving you a one stop shop for all your election needs. From Lenox to Dorchester, from Salisbury to Provincetown, we’re going to have you covered race by race in the march to November.

Today, we will be starting of with a look out West, with Berkshire, Hampden, Franklin, and Hampshire counties.  

Congressional Races

This was an area represented by a Republican for nearly 140 years prior to the election of John Olver in 1991, but since Olver’s election, it has been unabashedly blue. This time, Olver will not be seeking re-election, but he is expected to be preplaced by former 2nd District congressman Richard Neal. Jeffery Donnelly is the only Republican running for this seat.

State Senate Races

Most of the State Senate races in this area are not being contested by Republicans, save for the Second Hampden & Hampshire District, where Michael R Knapik is the incumbent running unopposed.

General Court Races

Given the heavilly Democratic nature of Western Massachusetts, very few races are expected to be contested by Republicans. The notable exceptions are in Hampden County, an area that gave Senator Brown 54% of the vote during the special election and Charlie Baker 50% in November.

2nd Franklin: With Christopher Donelan’s retirement in 2010, this district became very competitive. The current incumbent, Democrat Denise Andrews, won by only 1,336 votes (50.9%), a far cry from the near 16,000 vote margain Donelan had in 2008 (73.8%). Susannah M. Lee will be running against Andrews this time around, and if the atmosphere is the same as it was two years ago, this could be a very interesting race to watch.

2010 Governor’s Race: Patrick (D): 42.9% Baker (R): 42.8%

Finances: Andrews: $1,483.77 Lee: $6,932.64

2nd Hampden: In 2008 and 2010, this district was one of the most competitive in the state. Brian Ashe, the Democratic incumbent, hung on in 2008 and 2010 by only 1,987 and 467 votes respectfully. His challenger in 2010, Marie Angelides, is trying again to unseat him, but she must first survive a primary against Jack Villamaino, who has over $14,592 in the war chest. If the primary winner can make it through without spending a large sum of money in the process, a Republican victory may well be in the works in November if the top of the ticket (Romney and Brown) performs well in this part of the state, which it did during the two elections in 2010.

2010 Governor’s Race: Patrick (D): 44.7% Baker (R): 44.5%

Finances: Ashe: $17,403.26 Angelides: $1,280.11 Villamaino: $14,542.67

3rd Hampden: This was one of the 17 House seats that flipped to Republican control in 2010, but expect this seat to remain as competitive as it was in 2010. Republican Nicholas A Boldyga won in 2010 by a mere 98 votes against Rep. Rosemary Sandlin on his second attempt at the seat. He is the favorite headed into November, but he will first have to defeat Democrat Samuel Salvatore DiSanti Jr. Boldyga currently has a 12-to-1 cash advantage, a rarity for any Republican in Massachusetts, so he should be able to hang on in this right of center district.

2010 Governor’s Race: Patrick (D): 33.7% Baker (R): 50.4%

Finances: Boldyga: $12,784.89 DiSanti Jr.: $1,659.63

12th Hampden: Even though Republicans are starting to give this Springfield area district a good look, winning it appears to be unlikely, but Dennis John McCarthy will give it a try against Democrat incumbent Angelo Puppolo, although he has not reported any campaign expenditures with the OCPF. In 2010, Puppolo faced a challenger for the first time, and won with over 60.9% of the vote. Challenging this seat may be a signal that the GOP can compete in a city like Springfield down the line, but not right now.

2010 Governor’s Race: Patrick (D): 51.9% Baker (R): 37.4%

Finances not available at this time

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