Massachusetts general elections are typically not particularly notable, since the state votes overwhelmingly for democrats in virtually every race, but often that opens the door for noteworthy primary races. Such has been the case again this year as the state prepares to elect a new governor and attorney general, as well as re-electing nine representatives.
With neither Massachusetts senator up for reelection in 2022, the race to replace moderate republican governor Charlie Baker is easily the most notable. On the democratic side, Attorney General Maura Healey routed state senator Sonia Chang-Díaz, who dropped out months before election day. Healey, the establishment candidate supported by numerous unions, both Massachusetts senators, and eight of nine representatives, was the clear favorite from the beginning and ended up garnering at least 80 percent of the vote in every county. While Healey has seemed like the heir apparent to the governorship for a while, the race to meet her in the general election has been tighter. In the end, Donald Trump-endorsed state representative Geoff Diehl knocked off businessman Chris Doughty, winning by a statewide margin of 11 percentage points. Doughty, a pragmatic candidate with views closer to those of gGovernor Baker, was unable to overcome the name recognition and high profile endorsement of his opponent, who also ran for senate in the state four years ago.
As Massachusetts is a highly gerrymandered state, there is little question about what the results will be in any of the nine house districts, especially considering that every democrat running is an incumbent. In 2020, every democrat won by at least 20 percentage points, so the 2022 general elections in the house project to be uninteresting. In the district encompassing Cape Cod, businessman Jesse Brown very narrowly defeated nurse Dan Sullivan, in a race where both candidates focused on inflation and tried to set themselves apart from the political establishment, although that was the only somewhat notable house primary result.
Concord, along with much of northern Middlesex County, is part of the third congressional district, represented by Lori Trahan, who is running for her third term. Redistricting did not change much in the third district, with Maynard being the only town removed from the district. Trahan won in 2018 with 62% of the vote before running unopposed for reelection in 2020. This year, Trahan faces former state senator and Fitchburg city councilor Dean Tran in the general election. Not only does the political makeup of the third district make it very difficult for a republican to win it, but Tran has been mired in several scandals including being indicted with several larceny charges this past summer, making Trahan’s path to reelection even easier. In the fifth congressional district that covers southern Middlesex County including towns such as Lexington, Belmont, and parts of Cambridge, assistant speaker of the house Katherine Clark is seeking a sixth term in congress against former state house candidate Caroline Colarusso in what figures to be another easy reelection for her.
With Attorney General Maura Healey running for governor, the primary to replace her is another to watch. Andrea Campbell, endorsed by Healey, dozens of state senators, five representatives, and senator Ed Markey, won with just over 50 percent of the vote over Shannon Liss-Riordan and Quentin Palfrey who dropped out of the race months before election day.
With Massachusetts being a consistently liberal state and the only statewide republican retiring, there were few surprises with the primary elections since most races had incumbents running for reelection, and those that did not had a candidate with established name recognition, which generally made the difference this year. In such a liberal state, the general elections look to feature even fewer upsets as no election is expected to be remotely close.