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What to Watch For within 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 first season.

Excluding the governor’s race, probably the most competitive statewide contests are on the Democratic side.

Here’s what to observe for.

Democrats are confident that they will reclaim the governorship of Massachusetts in November with Maura Healey, the state attorney general, who’s running essentially unopposed for the nomination. Ms. Healey’s last competitor, State Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz, ended her campaign in June, though her name stays on the ballot because she withdrew too late to take it off.

Limited public polling has shown Ms. Healey with a big lead in the overall election no matter who her Republican opponent is, but her path could also 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’s, Massachusetts has a history of electing moderate Republicans to the governorship, because it did with Gov. Charlie Baker, who is just not running for re-election. But Republican primary voters have largely rejected moderate candidates this 12 months, and general-election voters in Massachusetts are unlikely to be receptive to a right-wing Republican like Mr. Diehl.

With the primaries winding down, each parties are beginning to shift their focus to the overall election on Nov. 8.

Democrats have a competitive primary for lieutenant governor, with three candidates: State Senator Eric Lesser, a former staff member within 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 an excellent 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. Nevertheless, the races are separate on the ballot; the governor and lieutenant governor will not be elected as running mates.

Tanisha Sullivan, the president of the N.A.A.C.P.’s Boston branch, is difficult Bill Galvin within the Democratic primary for secretary of state, an office Mr. Galvin has held for greater 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 extend participation amongst marginalized groups. She won the support of the state Democratic Party with greater than 60 percent of the vote at a celebration convention earlier this 12 months, but Mr. Galvin has led within the limited public polling of the race.

The Republican primary has just one candidate, Rayla Campbell.

Two Democrats are searching for their party’s nomination for the position Ms. Healey is vacating, and the race has drawn attention from progressive leaders, who’re 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 corporations.

A 3rd 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.

There are two candidates within the Democratic primary for the district attorney of Suffolk County, which incorporates Boston. The first 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 stays open. Ricardo Arroyo, the Boston councilor difficult Mr. Hayden, has been accused of sexual assault.

Mr. Arroyo lost a slew of outstanding endorsements — including from Ms. Warren, Mr. Markey, Ms. Pressley and Ms. Wu — after the allegations, which he denies, were made public.

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