Five keys to the primary election

Newcomers or incumbents? Several races feature contests between incumbents with seniority and power versus newcomers who represent change. In most of the cases, the change isn’t about ideology but simply about someone new, usually someone younger. The marquee matchup in this regard is between US Rep. Michael Capuano, 66, and Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley, 44. One of Pressley’s fliers says “change can’t wait” and announces “it’s time for a new lens, a new approach, a new voice.” Fellow Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim, 34, is running a similar campaign against incumbent Secretary of State William Galvin, 67. In the Legislature, the dynamic is also at work in the race between incumbent Rep. Byron Rushing, 76, and Jonathan Santiago, an emergency room doctor at Boston Medical Center. “This is not an ideological fight,” Rushing told the Bay State Banner. “This is a fight that seems to be about a generation of progressives who feel it’s their time.”

President Trump. Donald Trump’s shadow looms over every race across the country, even here in deep blue Massachusetts. Geoff Diehl is hoping that Trump supporters in Massachusetts will propel him to victory in the Republican primary for US Senate and into a one-on-one matchup against US Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Beth Lindstrom, a Charlie Baker Republican, is hoping to draw enough moderate Republicans and independents to edge Diehl. Baker faces his own challenge from the right in conservative pastor Scott Lively. No one is expecting Lively to win, but a respectable showing would demonstrate Trump’s clout in Massachusetts.

The DeLeo dilemma – House Speaker Robert DeLeo isn’t facing an opponent in either the primary or the general election, but many candidates seem to be running against him and his top-down style of leadership. Nika Elugardo has tried to portray Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez, the chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, as someone willing to sacrifice his progressive values when DeLeo demands it. Sanchez says that’s not the case, but acknowledges that his job as Ways and Means chair often requires him to find consensus rather than simply vote his conscience. Many other campaigns revolve in part around DeLeo’s leadership style, including the Rushing-Santiago race and the battle between Rep. Denise Garlick of Needham and her 24-year-old challenger Ted Steinberg. A political action committee controlled by DeLeo handed out eight contributions of $500 each to eight reps in August. The list of recipients included Rushing, Elizabeth Malia of Boston, and Rady Mom of Lowell. Mom, who is facing three challengers, also got a personal visit from DeLeo.

DA day – The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts has made the case that district attorneys wield enormous power in the criminal justice system and DA elections should not be treated lightly by voters. Races for three DA positions in Berkshire, Suffolk, and Middlesex counties received a lot of attention this year, and now it’s up to the voters to decide what kind of law enforcement system they want. In each race, there is a candidate with a traditional DA’s background facing challengers bent on reform. In the Berkshire County Democratic primary, Paul Caccaviello is running against Andrea Harrington and Judith Knight. In Middlesex County, it’s incumbent Marian Ryan against Donna Patalano. And in Suffolk County, Greg Henning is facing off against Evandro Carvalho, Rachael Rollins, Linda Champion, and Shannon McAuliffe.

Turnout – A low turnout tends to favor incumbents, and many fear an election on the day after Labor Day will not attract many voters. In Berkshire County, the race for district attorney may boost turnout. Galvin made no predictions, but said absentee ballots have been returned at impressive levels. In 2014, when there was a spirited Democratic primary for governor, turnout was 17.04 percent statewide. In 2016, with no statewide races, primary turnout was 8.84 percent.

Newspaper endorsements – Let’s take them one by one:

Republican primary for governor: Globe and Herald both back Baker.

Democratic primary for governor: Globe backs Jay Gonzalez; Herald supports Bob Massie.

Republican primary for US Senate: Globe backs Lindstrom; Herald backs Diehl.

Democratic primary for 7th Congressional District: Globe and Herald back Pressley.

Democratic primary for 3d Congressional District: Globe, Herald, and Lowell Sun back Lori Trahan.

Democratic primary for secretary of state: Globe and Lowell Sun back Galvin, Herald backs Zakim.

Democratic primary for Suffolk County DA: Globe backs Rachael Rollins; Herald backs Greg Henning.

Democratic primary for Middlesex County DA: Globe and Lowell Sun back Donna Patalano. [An earlier version of this story indicated the Herald also backed Patalano, but the Herald did not endorse in the race.]

Democratic primary for Berkshire County DA: Berkshire Eagle backs Paul Caccaviello.

Rep. Sanchez vs. Elugardo: Globe backs Jeff Sanchez.



Attorney General Maura Healey reverses course, says cities and towns can’t ban medical pot dispensaries. (CommonWealth)

Lowell Sun columnist Peter Lucas offers his own analysis of why the Legislature isn’t representative of the public at large. He blames liberal institutions such as the Boston Globe and the League of Women Voters.


Brockton’s parking garage supervisor quietly resigned in July after the city spent nearly $31,000 investigating allegations that he misused public funds for his own personal gain, though no charges were brought. (The Enterprise)

Officials in Dennis and Harwich are raising concerns about legislation creating a tri-town water partnership with Yarmouth, which hasn’t yet met to discuss the proposal. The partnership would save the towns money but operate as an independent authority without voter input. (Cape Cod Times)

A Westport couple is thinking about suing the town after discovering a project at a new middle and high school building is causing floods on its property. Town officials say there is no money to remedy the problem. (Herald News)


Sen. Elizabeth Warren, hoping to end the long-running controversy over her claim of Native American ancestry, turns over all her law school employment records to the Globe, whose reporter Annie Linskey also interviewed more than 100 people and concluded that the claims played no role in Warren’s rise through the academic ranks, including landing a post at Harvard Law School in 1993.

The Trump administration is citing executive privilege in withholding more than 100,000 pages of documents dealing with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh from his tenure in the Bush administration between 2001 and 2006. (New York Times) Meanwhile, lawyers for the former president released 42,000 pages just hours before a scheduled hearing today on Kavanaugh’s nomination. (Washington Post)

A Herald editorial calls out Trump for using reckless rhetoric after a California man who invoked Trump’s characterization of the press as the “enemy of the people” was arrested for making threatening phone calls to the Boston Globe. The editorial goes on to say Democrats do the same.


A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows Democrats with a clear advantage to take over control of the House with the November elections turning into a referendum on President Trump.

Trump once again blasted Attorney General Jeff Sessions, lambasting him on Twitter for indicting two “very popular Republican Congressmen” just before elections and giving Democrats a chance to seize control of Congress. (New York Times)

Stefanie Coxe explains why she thinks some establishment Democrats in Massachusetts are on the defensive. (CommonWealth)

Use of texting is disrupting traditional campaign outreach methods like TV advertising, with its use being credited with an important role in the upset victory of Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum in the Democratic primary for governor of Florida. (Boston Globe)

In the Berkshire County district attorney’s race, the focus has been on experience, baggage, and politics. (CommonWealth)

Despite the surge of young, minority Democratic candidates for various offices nationwide, a trio of 70-something white men in the party — Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and John Kerryare among those eyeing the 2020 presidential race. (Boston Herald)

A 78-year-old Weymouth man was struck and killed by a car on a Route 3 overpass while he was out campaigning for secretary of state candidate Josh Zakim. (Patriot Ledger)


Nike is unveiling a new “Just Do It” ad and a line of clothing featuring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has been out of the league without a job after he triggered the player protests over injustice for blacks that has become a dividing line on patriotism in the country. (Wall Street Journal)

Area Democratic pols used Labor Day to launch attacks on President Trump’s policies, which they said have been devastating for American workers in general and bad for organized labor in particular. (Boston Herald) Hundreds of union hotel workers protested in front of the Westin Copley in Boston yesterday, briefly shutting down traffic on Huntington Avenue, demanding a fair contract. (Boston Globe) Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks to at the New Hampshire AFL-CIO’s Labor Day breakfast and calls out Amazon founder Jeff Bezos for amassing millions of dollars while some of his workers struggle to get by. (Boston Globe) Steven Tolman, the head of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, says democracy is at risk when unions are attacked. (CommonWealth)

Cranberry farmers are facing a glut of their crop and are seeking permission to destroy part of their harvest this fall to help boost prices. (Boston Globe)

A Barnstable judge has ordered the aerial adventure park at Heritage Gardens & Museum in Sandwich to shut down because the popular feature at the outdoor nonprofit did not meet the educational requirement of the zoning permit. (Cape Cod Times)

Massachusetts is the seventh least sexist state, according to a new study that looked at factors such as wages and employment. (Boston Globe)

The iconic Carling Brewery building on Route 9 in Natick, which hasn’t produced beer since 1975, is coming down to make way for expansion for MathWorks, the software company headquartered next to the site. (MetroWest Daily News)


A joint Boston Globe-USA Today investigation finds deplorable conditions for patients in the nursing home based at the Veterans Administration hospital in Bedford.

School officials confirm a case of MRSA at Marblehead High School. (Salem News)


US Rep. Seth Moulton makes the case for building the North-South Rail Link connecting North Station and South Station. Rachelle Cohen says it’s time to kill the idea once and for all. (Boston Globe)


The state is cracking down on illegal fishing with heftier fines and civil penalties on poaching as part of an environmental bonding bill passed by lawmakers at the end of the session. (Cape Cod Times)


Ankle bracelets that monitor defendants using GPS software are not keeping them from committing crimes while being being tracked, a Herald analysis finds.