Yesterday saw a lot of changes and some interesting developments in legislative races in both the city and county of Worcester. It looks like John Fresolo, who hinted to Worcester Magazine earlier this year is running to reclaim his seat, John Binienda is retiring, a Democrat filed to run in Harriett Chandler’s Senate District, and John Fernandes got a Republican opponent.
First up, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette reported yesterday that Worcesters Anthony Weiner, John Fresolo, is taking a crack at getting his old seat back. Fresolo starts the campaign with $11,453 in the bank. Last year he spent close to $70,000 in legal fees, but replenished his account with a strong $9,000 plus fundraising effort in the second half of the year. Dan Donahue (D-Worcester) who won the special election to replace Fresolo has $7,626 in the bank. This will be a very competitive primary.
Of course before the Telegram article yesterday, Worcester Magazine reported last year that Fresolo was “100% running” to reclaim his old seat.
John Binienda announced that he is not seeking re-election for the western Worcester/Leicester seat he has held for 14 terms. Binienda, has one of the largest war chests in the House with $361,689 cash on hand. The 17th Worcester district is in the middle of the pack. It is lean Democratic district and the 91st most Republican in the state. It is an R-1 district. Scott Brown won the district 53%-46% in 2010. Charlie Baker lost 39%-52%.
Bill Lebeau of Leicester ran in 2012. He dissolved his OCPF account in September of 2013. There is a Republican from Leicester who is thinking of running.
more after the jump
Democratic Senator Harriett Chandler of Worcester has not yet said she is retiring. Despite that a Democratic candidate has filed with OCPF for her seat. Sean Maher, Democrat of Worcester has filed to run for the seat. Sources have told Red Mass Group that Maher is an SEIU official in Worcester County, and recently told Chandler he was challenging her if she didn’t retire.
The district, like the Binienda seat, is a cusp seat. It is an R-1 district and ranked 25th in the state. Scott Brown won the district 54-45% and Charlie Baker lost 52-41. Paul Franco (R-Worcester), who ran against Mahoney in the 2010 election has announced he is running for this seat (Disclosure: Franco is a client of the author). Franco had $1,168 cash on hand at the end of 2013.
State Representative John Fernandes (D-Milford) has an opponent for the 10th Worcester District. Yesterday, Mendon Republican Selectman Mark Reil filed with OCPF to run for the seat. This is a very winnable district for a solid Republican candidate. It is ranked as the 34th most Republican district in the state. There are currently six sitting Republican representatives that are in lower ranked districts.
In the 2010 special US Senate election Scott Brown received 62% of the vote in this district with Coakley at 37%. In the fall Charlie Baker won the district with 53% of the vote. Fernandes has gone unopposed for three straight elections, and has a paltry $6,474 in the bank and raised only $250 in all of 2013.