Mass. voters head to polls for special elections

It’s Election Day in Massachusetts.


A spate of recent resignations from state Legislature this have prompted a slew of special elections. Today voters in a handful of districts across the state — from Wesfield to Melrose to Dorchester — are set to elect four new state representatives and one new state senator.


There’s also one special primary election: in the Dorchester-based district that was represented by Carlos Henriquez, who was expelled from the state House of Representatives in February. While five Democrats are on the ballot seeking their party’s nomination, no Republicans are in the heavily Democratic district.

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Democrat Daniel J. Hunt, who won a contested primary last month, is the favorite to be elected the new state representative from the 13th Suffolk District, which includes a diverse swath of Dorchester. He faces no opponents on the ballot and, should he win, will succeed Martin J. Walsh, who resigned the seat to become Boston’s mayor.

Another heavy favorite today is Democrat Daniel Joseph Ryan of Boston. He’s the only person on the ballot in the Second Suffolk District, which includes Charlestown and parts of Chelsea. If he wins, he’ll succeed former state representative Eugene L. O’Flaherty, who resigned to become Boston’s corporation counsel.

In the 16th Suffolk District, which covers parts of Chelsea, Revere, and Saugus, Chelsea Republican Todd B. Taylor faces Democrat Roselee Vincent of Revere in the race to succeed former state representative Kathi-Anne Reinstein, who resigned to take a post as government affairs manager for the Boston Beer Co.

Voters in Westfield will also hit the polls in a special election to fill the Fourth Hampden District House seat vacated by Donald F. Humason Jr., now a state senator. On the ballot: veteran John C. Velis, a Democrat, and City Councilor Dan Allie, a Republican.


And in the Fifth Middlesex state Senate district, which stretches from Reading to part of Winchester to Melrose and Malden, voters will pick a successor to Katherine M. Clark, who resigned her seat to become a US Representative. Democrat Jason M. Lewis, a Winchester state representative, faces Republican Monica C. Medeiros, a Melrose alderman.

Joshua Miller can be reached at joshua.miller@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jm_bos.