What to Watch For in the Massachusetts Primaries
The 2022 primaries are almost, but not quite, over: Voters in Massachusetts go to the polls on Tuesday, the second-to-last election night of the primary season.
With the exception of the governor’s race, the most competitive statewide contests are on the Democratic side.
Here’s what to watch for.
Maura Healey is poised to be governor.
Democrats are confident that they can reclaim the governorship of Massachusetts in November with Maura Healey, the state attorney general, who is running essentially unopposed for the nomination. Ms. Healey’s last competitor, State Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz, ended her campaign in June, though her name remains on the ballot because she withdrew too late to take it off.
Limited public polling has shown Ms. Healey with a large lead in the general election regardless of who her Republican opponent is, but her path may be smoothest if Geoff Diehl, a former state representative endorsed by former President Donald J. Trump, wins the nomination over Chris Doughty, a moderate businessman.
Liberal though it is, Massachusetts has a history of electing moderate Republicans to the governorship, as it did with Gov. Charlie Baker, who is not running for re-election. But Republican primary voters have largely rejected moderate candidates this year, and general-election voters in Massachusetts are unlikely to be receptive to a right-wing Republican like Mr. Diehl.
The State of the 2022 Midterm Elections
With the primaries winding down, both parties are starting to shift their focus to the general election on Nov. 8.
- Battleground Pennsylvania: Few states feature as many high-stakes, competitive races as Pennsylvania, which has emerged as the nation’s center of political gravity.
- How a G.O.P. Haul Vanished: Last year, the campaign arm of Senate Republicans was smashing fund-raising records. Now, most of the money is gone.
- The Dobbs Decision’s Effect: After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the number of women signing up to vote surged in some states.
- Digital Pivot: At least 10 G.O.P. candidates in competitive races have updated their websites to minimize their ties to Donald J. Trump or to adjust their stances on abortion.
There’s a three-way Democratic primary for lieutenant governor.
Democrats have a competitive primary for lieutenant governor, with three candidates: State Senator Eric Lesser, a former staff member in the Obama administration; State Representative Tami Gouveia, who has a background in social work and public health; and Mayor Kim Driscoll of Salem, who has benefited from a remarkable $1.2 million in spending by a super PAC called Leadership for Mass.
On the Republican side, two former state legislators are competing. Leah Cole Allen is aligned with Mr. Diehl, the Trump-endorsed candidate for governor, while Kate Campanale is aligned with Mr. Doughty. However, the races are separate on the ballot; the governor and lieutenant governor are not elected as running mates.
A longtime secretary of state is being challenged.
Tanisha Sullivan, the president of the N.A.A.C.P.’s Boston branch, is challenging Bill Galvin in the Democratic primary for secretary of state, an office Mr. Galvin has held for more than 25 years.
Mr. Galvin is presenting himself as an experienced, tested hand who can protect Massachusetts’s election system from right-wing interference. Ms. Sullivan argues that the state should do more to increase participation among marginalized groups. She won the support of the state Democratic Party with more than 60 percent of the vote at a party convention earlier this year, but Mr. Galvin has led in the limited public polling of the race.
The Republican primary has only one candidate, Rayla Campbell.
The attorney general’s race has divided progressives.
Two Democrats are seeking their party’s nomination for the position Ms. Healey is vacating, and the race has drawn attention from progressive leaders, who are unusually divided.
Senator Edward J. Markey, Representative Ayanna S. Pressley and Ms. Healey have endorsed Andrea Campbell, a former Boston councilwoman. Senator Elizabeth Warren and Mayor Michelle Wu of Boston have endorsed Shannon Liss-Riordan, a labor lawyer who has worked on class-action lawsuits against Uber and other companies.
A third Democratic candidate, Quentin Palfrey, is on the ballot but recently ended his campaign and endorsed Ms. Campbell. On the Republican side, Jay McMahon is running unopposed.
Boston has a messy district attorney race.
There are two candidates in the Democratic primary for the district attorney of Suffolk County, which includes Boston. The primary will determine the winner in November, because no Republicans are running. The incumbent, Kevin Hayden, has been criticized for his handling of a police misconduct investigation, which he says remains open. Ricardo Arroyo, the Boston councilor challenging Mr. Hayden, has been accused of sexual assault.
Mr. Arroyo lost a slew of prominent endorsements — including from Ms. Warren, Mr. Markey, Ms. Pressley and Ms. Wu — after the allegations, which he denies, were made public.