Primary rundown

Overall, the Massachusetts primary was an incumbent’s paradise, but it had a few surprises at the local level and it set the stage for some interesting fall matchups, particularly the race between Democrat Joseph Kennedy III and Republican Sean Bielat in the redrawn Fourth Congressional District.

Bielat, who made a name for himself in a run against retiring US Rep. Barney Frank two years ago, cruised to victory in the Republican primary over former state mental health commissioner Elizabeth Childs. Kennedy, meanwhile, easily beat back a challenge in the Democratic primary from a woman Frank once compared to  a dining room table. The table got 6 percent of the vote.

US Rep. William Keating defeated Bristol District Attorney Sam Sutter in the Democratic primary for the new Ninth Congressional District and US Rep. Richard Neal crushed Berkshire Middle District Register of Deeds Andrea Nuciforo Jr. in the First. Jon Golnik won easily in the GOP primary for the Third District seat, setting the stage for a rematch against US Rep. Niki Tsongas. US Rep. John Tierney and his Republican challenger Richard Tisei had no primary opponents; the same was true for US Sen. Scott Brown and his Democratic rival, Elizabeth Warren.

One of the biggest surprises of the day was Diana DiZoglio of Methuen defeating incumbent Rep. David Torrisi by 200 votes in a district that includes parts of North Andover, Methuen, and Lawrence. Unofficial results show state Rep. Kevin Aguiar of Fall River  lost yesterday’s Democratic primary by seven votes, though he claims there were “discrepancies” in some polling places and asked that a police officer be hired to guard the ballots until they are recounted. Cambridge city councilor Marjorie Decker advanced in the race for Alice Wolf’s House seat and Danielle Gregoire of Marlborough is headed for a rematch for her old seat with conservative Republican Rep. Steven L. Levy.  

In the Senate, former state Sen. Michael Barrett of Lexington defeated Joe Kearns Goodwin of Concord and will face off against Chelmsford Republican Sandi Martinez for the seat being vacated by Sen. Susan Fargo. “It was a harsh battle against the politics of money and celebrity,” Barrett told the Lowell Sun, adding that money and celebrity typically win. “How refreshing that it doesn’t always happen that way.”

In the race for the state Senate seat vacated by Steven Baddour, Newburyport City Councilor Kathleen O’Connor Ives beat out Methuen Mayor William Manzi and Haverhill businessman Tim Coco. She will face Republican Shaun Toohey and two independents in the final. Salem City Councilor Joan Lovely won the Democratic primary and seems poised to take Sen. Fred Berry’s seat, the Salem News reports. Republican Paul Adams appeared to squeeze past his opponent Alex Vispoli in the race to challenge incumbent Sen. Barry Finegold of Andover, the Sun reports. Senate President Therese Murray easily beat back a primary challenge to set up a rematch with her 2010 opponent, Republican Thomas Keyes.

                                                                                                                                            –BRUCE MOHL


Howie Carr has some advice for Tim Murray, who says he’s still considering a run for governor: Look for “a big rock to hide under,” not a campaign manager. Carr notes that the odd timing of Murray’s statement, coming the same day the Globe reported that Michael McLaughlin, the embattled former head of the Chelsea Housing Authority, and a former political wrangler of Murray’s, is under investigation for misusing $1.5 million in agency funds.


Boston Mayor Tom Menino vetoed a city council redistricting plan that drew fire from minority leaders for diluting minority voting strength.

Menino’s Office of New Urban Mechanics gets a positive shout-out in Governing.

Former state representative Maryanne Lewis has resigned from the Scituate Housing Authority in exchange for town officials urging the state to change its policy that resulted in a freezing of authority funds that triggered Lewis’ resignation.

Hanson selectmen suspended the town’s police chief and were planning to meet with him this morning to determine whether to dismiss him for unspecified reasons.


The US unemployment rate in August falls to 8.1 percent, largely because many jobless people have given up looking for work.

American communities are rapidly becoming more diverse.


President Obama rallied the Democratic troops and appealed to undecided voters in a nomination acceptance speech that cast the election as offering as stark a choice between two different visions as the country has faced in a generation. The Globe’s Christopher Rowland writes that Obama stuck with his one-word campaign theme of moving “forward,” but with a speech that was focused more on his resolve than clear plans, the “road map remains a bit sketchy.”  National Journal’s Ron Fournier says Obama’s speech “fell short.” The Atlantic speculates that Obama’s lack of rhetorical spark betrayed a sense of battle-weariness, and says arguing for weak results over a worse alternative isn’t much, but it’s all the Democrats have. The Obama campaign has opened up several potential paths to victory in November.

How important is New Hampshire and its four electoral votes? Both Obama and Mitt Romney will be there today.

Keller@Large says it’s become apparent that Elizabeth Warren is pursuing a strategy to nationalize her race against Sen. Scott Brown and take advantage of the anti-Congressional Republican feelings of voters in Massachusetts. In the National Review, Patrick Brennan disassembles Warren’s convention speech and her attack on Wall Street. Brown, who shares a campaign braintrust with Mitt Romney, uses his final Herald DNC rebuttal to say he’s looking forward to working with whichever candidate wins the White House.

The state is investigating how 5,000 Wareham voters were wrongly moved to the inactive list and are working with town officials to make sure eligible voters are restored by the November election.

Talking Points Memo looks at the racial composition of Romney and Obama voters.


Panera Cares, a nonprofit version of the national sandwich chain, is exploring a “pay what you want” concept, NPR reports (via WBUR).

Apple readies a rival to Pandora, as Amazon comes gunning for Apple’s iPad.


The Globe gets a copy of the more detailed report on the sexploits of Boston University hockey players that the university chose not not to release publicly.  And it’s clear why.

A Maryland Republican congressman used the Holocaust to illustrate the problems with the federal student loan program. He later issued an apology.

Harwich and Chatham voters approve a debt exclusion for a new $65 million regional high school.

It’s called WUSS-tah. Paul Levy offers a video pronunciation guide from Boston University for students new to the area.


A new study suggests the American health care system wastes $750 billion a year, the Christian Science Monitor reports.


A 41-mile stretch of a highway near Austin, Texas, is given the highest speed limit in America 85 miles per hour, the Houston Chronicle reports.


Dominion energy company announced it would put its Brayton Point power plant in Somerset up for sale along with two others the company owns outside the state. Brayton Point was one of the state’s power plants cited in a recent CommonWealth story about struggling coal-fired facilities.

A giant swarm of flying ants buzzes the North Shore, the Item reports.


USA Today’s newspaper and website, and even its logo, are set for a makeover, Politico reports.