State House Roundup: Most Incumbent Lawmakers Survive

Fourteen Beacon Hill lawmakers faced challenges from within their own party Tuesday, and 13 emerged victorious, forestalling - if only for a few weeks - the conventional wisdom that incumbency is a greater liability than usual this year.

House members seeking to replace departing colleagues in the Senate were rewarded by voters as well, with five of six capturing the Democratic nomination in contested races and preparing to take on Republicans in November.

Only Rep. Pam Richardson, a Framingham Democrat, was rebuffed in her quest for reelection, and Rep. Stephen Tobin, who gave up his House seat to run for the Senate in Quincy, lost a Democratic primary race as well.

Four Senate Democrats -Sens. Cynthia Creem of Newton, Steven Tolman of Brighton, Sal DiDomenico of Everett and Sonia Chang-Diaz of Jamaica Plain - won or were leading in the polls late Tuesday as they fended off challenges from within their party.

Similarly, eight House Democrats - Reps. Sean Curran, Ruth Balser, Stephen Stat Smith, Jeffrey Sanchez, Kevin Aguiar, Robert Koczera, Mark Falzone, Rosemary Sandlin - captured their party's nomination despite challenges by fellow Democrats, and a ninth, Christine Canavan, led 53-47 late Tuesday, with nearly all precincts reporting.

Rep. Richardson (D-Framingham) was denied a third term by challenger Chris Walsh, an architect, business owner and town meeting participant. Two years ago, three Democratic incumbents were tossed by voters in the primary - Reps. Anthony Verga and Patrick Natale, as well as Sen. Dianne Wilkerson, who became the first sitting senator to lose an election in 14 years.

Walsh faces no Republican challenger in November's general election.

Five of six House Democrats seeking to move to the Senate won their primaries as well. They are:

Michael Rodrigues of Westport, who hopes to succeed Fall River Democrat Joan Menard; Barry Finegold of Andover, who is seeking the seat held by Sen. Susan Tucker (D-Andover); James Welch, running to succeed West Springfield Democrat Stephen Buoniconti; Katherine Clark, a Melrose Democrat seeking to replace Wakefield Republican Richard Tisei; and Michael Rush, a West Roxbury Democrat hoping to succeed Democrat Marian Walsh.

Rodrigues now faces Republican Derek Maksy; Finegold faces Republican Jamison Tomasek; Welch faces the winner of a Republican primary between Kenneth Condon and Robert Magovern; Clark faces Republican Craig Spadafora; and Rush faces Republican Brad Williams.

Rep. Tobin (D-Quincy) was the only one of six Democrats seeking Senate seats who lost, falling to John Keenan, an attorney and Quincy city councilor late Tuesday. Keenan faces Republican Daniel Dewey.

Seven of the Democrats who survived primary challenges face no Republican opposition in November and, barring an unenrolled challenger, seem headed for new terms on Beacon Hill. They are: Sens. Creem, Chang-Diaz and Tolman, and Reps. Curran (D-Springfield), Balser (D-Newton), Smith (D-Everett) and Sanchez (D-Boston).

Sen. DiDomenico, who bested Democrat Tim Flaherty, now faces Boston Republican Barbara Bush. He is the only incumbent senator to face both primary and general election challenges.

Five House members who won their primaries now face Republican challenges: Aguiar (D-Fall River) faces Republican C.J. Ferry of Fall River, Kozcera (D-New Bedford) battles Republican Ivo Almeida of Acushnet, Falzone (D-Saugus) takes on the winner of a Republican primary between Donald Wong and Raymond Igou, Sandlin (D-Agawam) takes on Republican Nicholas Boldyga of Southwick and Canavan (D-Brockton) faces John Cruz of West Bridgewater.

In addition, general election fields for 34 open seats - 26 in the House and eight in the Senate - are set.

Winners of six Democratic primaries, including three in Boston, face no Republican opposition.

As of 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, the only clear victories among those primaries were for Ed Coppinger, who emerged from a six-person field to win the nomination for the West Roxbury seat held by Rep. Rush; Russell Holmes, who bested four opponents in the race to succeed Rep. Willie Mae Allen; and Carlos Henriquez, who scratched out a win against three Democratic opponents in the race to fill the seat vacated by Boston Democrat Marie St. Fleur.

In the contest to succeed Rep. Brian Wallace (D-South Boston), Democrat Nick Collins topped a four-person field and will face Republican Patrick Brennan in November. Brennan is one of two Republicans the party fielded for 19 Suffolk County House races.

Other races to watch:

HOUSE - THIRTEENTH NORFOLK: Democrat Denise Garlick, a registered nurse and vice president of the Needham board of selectmen, takes on Republican John O'Leary, who served as Gov. Mitt Romney's Commissioner of Unemployment Assistance and as assistant secretary of administration and finance.

HOUSE - FIFTH PLYMOUTH: Democrat Rhonda Nyman, the widow of Rep. Robert Nyman, who passed away unexpectedly this year, runs against Republican Korey Welch, a Republican who is a licensed real estate broker and was laid off from EMC in 2009.

SENATE - CAPE AND ISLANDS: A battle of businessmen is shaping up on the Cape, as Democrat Dan Wolf, founder of Cape Air, and Republican James Crocker, a real estate broker and founding investor of Bank of Cape Cod, maintained strong leads in their respective primaries late Tuesday night. They're facing off to succeed Sen. Robert O'Leary, who lost the Democratic primary for the U.S. House.

SENATE - FIRST MIDDLESEX: Eileen Donoghue, a Democrat and onetime candidate for Congress, held a strong lead Tuesday night in her primary, which would pit her against Lowell resident and Republican James Buba. The two are vying to replace departing Democrat Steven Panagiotakos.

HOUSE - NINTH BRISTOL: Democratic trial lawyer Christopher Markey faces Republican Joe Michaud, a member of the U.S. Army Reserve and former chair of the Dartmouth board of selectmen, in the race to succeed Rep. John Quinn, a Democrat.

HOUSE - SEVENTEENTH ESSEX: Democratic rehabilitation counselor Patricia Commane takes on Republican consultant Paul Adams in the race to replace Rep. Finegold.

HOUSE - SECOND FRANKLIN: Democrat Denise Andrews, a 25-year employee of Procter and Gamble, as well as a Gov. Deval Patrick appointee to a council on non-discrimination, takes on Orange selectman Steven Adam, a Republican a quality assurance official. The two face off in the race to succeed Democrat Chris Donelan.

HOUSE - TWENTY-SECOND MIDDLESEX: Democrat Kevin Conway, a 14-year employee of the Eagle Tribune Publishing Company and part-time limo driver takes on Republican Marc Lombardo, a Billerica selectman and sales account manager for a software company. The winner will succeed Rep. Greene.

HOUSE - THIRTEENTH WORCESTER: Democrat John Mahoney, a local business owner, finished atop a six-person field and will take on Republican Paul Franco, lawyer who worked for the U.S. Army JAG corps and a local personal injury firm. Rep. Robert Spellane is giving up that seat.

HOUSE - FOURTEENTH ESSEX: Incumbent David Torrisi, a North Andover Democrat, faces Republican Kevin Begley, also of North Andover.

SENATE - THIRD MIDDLESEX: Sen. Susan Fargo, a Lincoln Democrat, will take on Republican Sandra Martinez.

SENATE - NORFOLK, BRISTOL AND PLYMOUTH: Sen. Brian Joyce, a Milton Democrat, faces a challenge from Republican Robert Burr.

HOUSE - EIGHTEENTH ESSEX: Rep. Barbara L'Italien (D-Andover) will face Republican James Lyons.

HOUSE - SECOND HAMPDEN: Democratic Rep. Brian Ashe, of Longmeadow, will face Republican Marie Angelides.

HOUSE - FOURTH BRISTOL: Rep. Steve D'Amico (D-Seekonk) takes on Republican Steven Howitt.

HOUSE - TWELFTH PLYMOUTH: Rep. Thomas Calter (D-Kingston) faces a challenge from Republican Joseph Truschelli.

Sen. Steven Baddour of Methuen is awaiting the results of a Republican primary. Sens. Fred Berry (D-Peabody), Thomas McGee (D-Lynn), Patricial Jehlen (D-Somerville), Karen Spilka (D-Framingham), James Eldridge (D-Acton), Therese Murray (D-Plymouth), Marc Pacheco (D-Taunton), Anthony Petruccelli (D-Boston), Harriette Chandler (D-Worcester), Stephen Brewer (D-Barre) and Jennifer Flanagan (D-Leominster) face Republican challengers in November as well.

In the House, Reps. Falzone and Geraldo Alicea (D-Charlton) awaited Republican primary results late Tuesday night.

This program aired on September 15, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.


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