Mobilized by their outrage at President Trump and his Draconian policies, an unusual number of Americans — particularly women and people of color — are running for statewide or local offices in the 2018 midterm elections.
Massachusetts doesn’t seem to be an exception.
As voters head to the polls Sept. 4, Democratic voters seem torn over whether to elect younger voices or stick with proven incumbents. Similarly, Republican voters are asking themselves whether there’s room in their party for candidates like Governor Charlie Baker, who have bucked the party’s Trumpist turn.
The Globe Editorial Board interviewed about 30 candidates running for their party’s nomination in 11 statewide and local contests — from the crowded Third Congressional race in the Merrimack Valley that attracted ten Democratic candidates in the primary, to the hard-fought state representative primaries in Boston, where some incumbent progressives face challenge from opponents seeking a more confrontational style on Beacon Hill.
Here is a recap of the Editorial Board’s endorsements in those eleven races.
GOVERNOR, DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY
“. . . [T]he question facing Democrats is which of the two [candidates] is more likely to make good on the more expansive (and expensive) vision for education, health care, and transportation that they both say Massachusetts needs. Of the two, [Jay] Gonzalez is better equipped to translate those bold promises into reality. . . [He] has the right background to go toe-to-toe with Baker, and if he can outline a credible plan to pay for his ambitious agenda, he is well positioned to give the incumbent a real race.”
GOVERNOR, REPUBLICAN PRIMARY
“Baker has been a good governor, but to at least some Republicans that doesn’t seem to matter. Not only did Baker not vote for Donald Trump in 2016, but as an elected official he has repeatedly criticized the president, and helped stymie his attempt to repeal Obamacare. In contrast, Lively has repositioned himself as a loyal Trumpist foot soldier. But even if intended as a protest vote against Baker, votes for Lively send the message that bigots and crackpots have a constituency in the Massachusetts GOP.”
SENATE, REPUBLICAN PRIMARY
“[Beth] Lindstrom, a former executive director of the Massachusetts Republican Party, former director of the State Lottery, director of consumer affairs and business regulation during the Romney administration, and manager of the successful 2010 Scott Brown Senate campaign, knows this state and its voters better than either of her opponents possibly could. She also has staked out a reasonable position on Trumpian politics that would serve her well in a general election.”
SECRETARY OF STATE, DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY
“Yes, Galvin has held the post for a long time. But in an office with diverse and important responsibilities, he has run an efficient, effective, continually modernizing, scandal-free operation... [A]s he demonstrated with his early and forceful push-back against Donald Trump’s illegal-voting allegations, Galvin is someone Massachusetts should be glad to have in office during this presidency. Democrats should nominate him once again, for a capstone term to finish out a consequential public career.”
THIRD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY
“. . . [T]he Globe endorses Trahan. Like [retiring congresswoman Niki] Tsongas, she has deep roots in the district, a granular understanding of what she hopes to accomplish in Washington, and the right background for the job... In a race in which the candidates have traded barbs over roots and residency, Trahan provided a good example of why her background matters, and how it would help shape her agenda in Congress.”
SEVENTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY
“The liquor license reforms were symbolic of Pressley’s broader approach to policy-making: A deep commitment to justice and equality, but also a talent for perceiving concrete opportunities to make things better. The Globe enthusiastically endorses Pressley for the Democratic nomination in the Seventh Congressional District primary on Sept. 4. Pressley, who was the first black woman elected to the City Council and would be the first black woman ever elected to Congress in Massachusetts, has rare political talents, combining personal charisma with a shrewd understanding of how to translate values into policy.”
Eighth CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY
“The South Boston Democrat has served in Congress since 2001, representing parts of the city and the South Shore. He has shown an independent streak, most infamously when he voted against Obamacare in 2010. . . . Some Democrats may never forgive Lynch’s Obamacare vote, but he’s helped protect the law in the years since.”
DISTRICT ATTORNEY, SUFFOLK & MIDDLESEX COUNTIES, DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY
In Suffolk, “Rollins is the best choice” for District Attorney. “Rollins is a dynamic leader who’ll be able to attract talent and push the office in new directions. She’s pledged to move away from cash bail for those who don’t pose a flight risk and to beef up restorative justice programs, among other things. . . In Middlesex, the Globe endorses Ryan’s challenger, Donna Patalano, based on her impressive vision and breadth of experience. Once a prosecutor, she developed a deeper understanding for the criminal justice system, she says, when she became a defense attorney and worked on behalf of “people who don’t look like me.”
STATE REPRESENTATIVE, ELEVENTH, FIFTEENTH & NINTH SUFFOLK DISTRICTS, DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY
“In three districts, office-seekers have mounted serious challenges to long-time incumbents, and all three share a common line of attack: The incumbents, they say, are just too close to [Speaker of the House Robert] DeLeo.
State Representative Liz Malia is running for reelection in a district that includes parts of Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, and Roxbury, and the Globe endorses her. . . Neither of her opponents. . . would be a better representative, and the district would lose a nose-to-the-grindstone expert on important, oft-neglected issues.
. . . State Representative Jeffrey Sanchez faces a well-organized challenge from Nika Elugardo to represent parts of Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, and Mission Hill, along with a tiny slice of Brookline. . . She hasn’t given any convincing reason to discard Sanchez. The Globe endorses him for reelection.
The toughest choice is in the district encompassing the South End and bits of Roxbury and Back Bay. It’s currently represented by the iconic Byron Rushing, who has been in the Legislature since 1983 but faces an unexpectedly strong challenge from Jon Santiago... The Globe endorses Santiago but honors Rushing’s decades of service to the neighborhood, the city, and the state. Every election is about the next two years, and Santiago — along with Sanchez and Malia — would be an effective representative.”
Suffolk Registry of Deeds
“Forde almost won the Democratic primary in 2016, finishing second in a divided field against Steve Murphy. Now she’s his sole opponent, barnstorming candidate forums where Murphy’s nowhere to be seen. . . . If the way she’s campaigned is a sign of how she’d run the registry, the county would be lucky to have her.”