Primaries Over, Mass. Voters Eye General Election

The seven-week sprint to Election Day begins now.

Tuesday's primaries whittled down the slate of candidates in dozens of key State House and congressional races and set the stage for a general election that Republicans hope will allow them to boost their ranks in a year when voters appear frustrated with incumbents.

The marquee race on the Nov. 2 ballot is the contest for governor. Incumbent Democrat Deval Patrick, Republican Charles Baker, independent Timothy Cahill and Green-Rainbow candidate Jill Stein are all vying for the top office.

Republicans are also hoping to add to their ranks in Congress.

The race to fill the state's only open congressional seat will pit state Rep. Jeffrey Perry of Sandwich, who had the backing of Republican Sen. Scott Brown and former Gov. Mitt Romney, against Democratic Norfolk District Attorney William Keating.

"If you send Jeff Perry to Washington, you're going to be sending a vote to repeal Obamacare," Perry told supporters.

The winner will replace Democratic Rep. William Delahunt in the 10th Congressional District. Delahunt is not seeking re-election.

"The stakes of this campaign are high," Keating said. "We can send people down (to Washington) with a record of shaking things up."

Another closely watched contest was the race for auditor.

Former Patrick administration Labor Secretary Suzanne Bump won the Democratic primary and will face former Massachusetts Turnpike Authority board member Mary Connaughton, who gained the Republican nod.

The winner will fill the seat now held by Joseph DeNucci, who is not seeking another term.

In the race for state treasurer, Steve Grossman, a former Democratic National Committee chairman, will take on Republican state Rep. Karyn Polito, who was unopposed in the GOP primary.

Republicans are also hoping to defeat incumbent Democratic Rep. Niki Tsongas in the 5th Congressional District. The Lowell Democrat is seen as vulnerable partly because the district is one of the state's more conservative.

In the GOP primary, Jon Golnik of Carlisle, who resells Boston College merchandise, defeated three other Republicans and will face Tsongas in November.

There were several other congressional primaries.

Rep. Stephen Lynch, the Democratic incumbent in the 9th Congressional District, fended off a party challenge from Mac D'Alessandro and will face Republican computer technician Vernon Harrison of Braintree in November.

In the 4th Congressional District, Rep. Barney Frank easily beat back a challenge from 29-year-old Rachel Brown in his party's primary and will field a challenge from Republican Sean Bielat, a 35-year-old ex-Marine and businessman from Brookline who won the GOP primary.

In the 6th District, Republican Bill Hudak will take on Democratic incumbent Rep. John Tierney. Thomas Wesley captured the GOP nomination to challenge incumbent Democratic Rep. Richard Neal in the 2nd Congressional District. And in the 7th Congressional District, Gerry Dembrowski beat Thomas Tierney to face incumbent Democratic Rep. Edward Markey.

Democratic primaries were also held for three open district attorney offices.

In the Norfolk District, state Sen. Michael Morrissey beat state Rep. Joseph Driscoll and Michael Chinman, a former prosecutor, for the office being vacated by Keating. In western Massachusetts, County Clerk of Probate David Sullivan bested former prosecutor Michael Cahillane to replace retiring Northwestern District Attorney Elizabeth Scheibel. And State Sen. Stephen Buoniconti led a five-way Democratic race for the office being vacated by Hampden District Attorney William Bennett.

There are no Republican challengers in any of those races.

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


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