Some voters will go to the polls in person next Tuesday to cast ballots to determine Democratic and Republican primary candidates, and, in some cases, to pick winners in the general election who are expected to face little opposition in November.
Early voting has been underway since last Saturday, and it ends on Friday this week. Voters had the choice of mailing in their ballots, though the state elections department noted that the US Postal Service recommends against mailing a ballot with less than one week to go before an election day. Add in the holiday weekend, and no mail on Labor Day, and “there is no guarantee that a ballot returned by mail this week will arrive in time to be counted.”
The ballot includes contested statewide offices (governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, and auditor) as well as local races for Suffolk district attorney, sheriff, Second Suffolk state senator, and Fifth Suffolk House representative.
In local races, the primary winner, likely a Democrat, will end up taking office, since Republicans are not fielding candidates in those contests.
In the Suffolk DA’s race, Hyde Park City Councillor Ricardo Arroyo is facing off against interim appointee Kevin Hayden, who was appointed to the job by Gov. Baker after the departure of Rachael Rollins for the US Attorney’s Office and is now running for a full term.
Hayden previously served as head of the state board overseeing registered sex offenders, while Arroyo, a member of prominent political family, has been a city councillor since 2019.
Both of their candidacies have been knocked off-kilter by Boston Globe stories: The newspaper reported in early August that Hayden had offered a “series of shifting and contradictory explanations for his office’s handling” of an alleged cover-up among Transit Police officers in a roadside dispute in Mattapan. Hayden has said the case is open and ongoing, even as one of his deputies reportedly told one of the Transit Police officer’s attorneys that the prosecution would not go forward.
Weeks later, the Globe reported that when Arroyo was a teenager, he was investigated over accusations of sexual assaults, and the cases were later closed without charges. Arroyo has denied that he was aware of the investigations at the time and asserted that said he did not assault anyone.
On Tuesday night— just before the Reporter’s deadline— the Globe published a new bombshell story featuring comments from one of two unnamed victims in their original story about Arroyo’s alleged misconduct. In the story, the victim expresses outrage about Arroyo’s denials and includes the text of explicit emails she said were sent by Arroyo to intimidate her in 2005.
The fight over the Globe stories has also spilled over onto the City Council, whose members aren’t on the ballot this year. Dorchester Councillor Frank Baker filed an order asking for documents related to the Boston Police Department’s Arroyo investigation, leading Jamaica Plain Councillor Kendra Lara, an Arroyo ally, to make a similar request for documents related to Baker’s 1993 conviction for marijuana possession.
Meanwhile, City Council President Ed Flynn of South Boston, who had initially endorsed Arroyo for DA, rescinded his support and removed Arroyo as chair of the redistricting and government operations committees.
Elsewhere in Suffolk County: The race for Suffolk sheriff’s is on the ballot, with nine-year incumbent Steve Tompkins facing a challenge from Sandy Zamor Calixte, who has worked in various roles in the sheriff’s department for 16 years.
Tompkins has touted the endorsement of Mayor Wu, while Calixte has picked up support from the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus PAC and former state Rep. Marie St Fleur.
Four candidates are facing off for the Second Suffolk Senate seat, which opened up after Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, who took office in 2009, decided to run for governor. Her gubernatorial campaign ended earlier this year, but the contest to succeed her continues: The open seat drew four contenders, including the woman Chang-Diaz knocked out 14 years ago: Former state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson, who is looking to return to the State House. Two House lawmakers, Reps. Liz Miranda and Nika Elugardo, are also on the ballot, as is Miniard Culpepper, a community pastor and former longtime HUD official.
Miranda’s run for the Senate seat means her House seat is open. Chris Worrell, a Boston Planning and Development Agency official whose older brother Brian is on the City Council, is on the ballot with Danielson Tavares, who held top posts under Mayor Marty Walsh’s administration. Althea Garrison, who has served as a state representative and city councillor in between multiple unsuccessful runs for public office, joins Worrell and Tavares on the ballot.
In contested races at the top, Maura Healey, now the state’s attorney general, doesn’t have competition for the Democratic nomination for governor. On the Republican side, businessman Chris Doughty is battling with Donald Trump acolyte Geoff Diehl.
The job of lieutenant governor is up for grabs on both sides of the aisle. While the job has few responsibilities, a number of candidates have stepped up: Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, Acton state Rep. Tami Gouveia, and Longmeadow state Sen. Eric Lesser are fighting for the Democratic nomination while Kate Campanale and Leah Allen, two former state lawmakers, are vying for the Republican slot.
In the attorney general campaign, Healey has endorsed Andrea Campbell, the 2021 candidate for mayor who represented Dorchester and Mattapan on the City Council. But Shannon Liss-Riordan, a labor attorney, has picked up the backing of Mayor Wu and Sen. Warren, among others, in her largely self-funded campaign. Former Obama administration official Quentin Palfrey won the endorsement of Democratic activists at the state convention in June, but on Tuesday this week, seven days before the election, he suspended his campaign and threw his support to Campbell, after spending months attacking her over super PAC spending on her behalf.
For secretary of state, incumbent Bill Galvin is hoping to fend off a challenge from newcomer Tanisha Sullivan, head of the local NAACP, as he seeks his eighth term in office.
On the auditor front, Chris Dempsey, a public transit advocate, faces state Sen. Diana DiZoglio for the job that incumbent Suzanne Bump is leaving.
The Democrats who win on Sept. 6 will in November face Jay McMahon, a Cape Cod attorney running for attorney general; Rayla Campbell, a far-right Republican who claims that “child porn” is available in public schools, for secretary of state; and Anthony Amore, security director for the Gardner Museum, for auditor.