A new start in Framingham, old faces elsewhere

If you’re starting with a fresh form of government, you might as well have a fresh face. At least that’s what Framingham voters thought after giving a convincing win to political newcomer Yvonne Spicer over former selectman and five-time legislator John Stefanini, a major force behind the charter question that turned Framingham into a city. Spicer, a former teacher turned Museum of Science vice president, appears to be the first popularly elected female African-American mayor in the state but more importantly the first mayor ever of the City formerly known as the Biggest Town. The fresh start, though, didn’t make its way down the ballot as seven of the 11 new City Council members were either elected or appointed town officials formerly or currently. (MetroWest Daily News)


Lowell voters approved a nonbinding ballot question expressing support for renovating the downtown Lowell High School by a 2-1 margin. They also added some teeth to the measure by electing a majority of City Council and School Committee candidates who back a renovated downtown high school over a new school in the predominantly white Belvidere section of the city. The City Council had previously narrowly approved the new school at Cawley Stadium, but now that decision will likely be overturned as a result of what became a single-issue, city-wide election. (Lowell Sun)

Salem voters backed a Sanctuary for Peace ordinance, which bars police and city officials from asking anyone seeking service about their immigration status. (Salem News)


Incumbent Daniel Rivera of Lawrence defeated archrival William Lantigua by 362 votes out of 15,490 cast. Rivera outspent Lantigua 10-1 and had the backing of just about every major politician in the state. (Eagle-Tribune)

Despite the specter of a federal investigation hanging over his head and a nasty public battle with the private Fall River Office of Economic Development, Mayor Jasiel Correia easily dispatched his challenger, City Councilor Linda Pereira. (Herald News)

Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter won a closer-than-expected third term over Jimmy Pereira. (The Enterprise) Pereira is a 26 year old newcomer with a compelling life story. (CommonWealth)

Easy winners: Sen. Thomas McGee of Lynn crushed two-term incumbent Judith Flanagan Kennedy. (Lynn Item) Thomas Bernard won in a North Adams race that didn’t feature an incumbent, the first time that has happened in 34 years. (Berkshire Eagle) Salem’s Kim Driscoll won a fourth term, defeating former city councilor Paul Prevey. (Salem News) New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell cruised to a fourth term over veteran police officer Charlie Perry. It will be Mitchell’s last two-year stint one way or the other as voters approved a referendum making the mayoral term four years. (Standard-Times)

More easy winners: Joseph Petty of Worcester won easily, while Michael and Coreen Gaffney, who had withdrawn from the City Council race but then said they would serve if elected, garnered little support. (Telegram & Gazette) Alex Morse was reelected to a fourth term in Holyoke. (MassLive) Marlborough Mayor Arthur Vigeant was swept into a fourth term by a nearly 3-1 margin over former city Fire Chief Edward “Skee” Bigelow. (MetroWest Daily News)


Mayor Marty Walsh cruised to an overwhelming reelection victory over Tito Jackson, rolling up a 2-to-1 margin over the Roxbury district city councilor. The race to watch proved to be the contest for the open district city council seat covering East Boston, Charlestown, and the North End, where activist East Boston attorney Lydia Edwards defeated North Ender Stephen Passacantilli, who edged her in the September preliminary and enjoyed the backing of Walsh. Meanwhile, in the race for the open seat covering South Boston and the South End, Ed Flynn edged Mike Kelley, who made up a lot of ground — but not quite enough — from the September preliminary (Boston Herald).


Democrat Andy Vargas, a 24-year-old city councilor in Haverhill, won a special election for the House seat vacated by Brian Dempsey by defeating Republican Shaun Toohey, a member of the School Committee, by a vote of 3,889 to 3,403. (Eagle-Tribune)

John Barrett III, who served as mayor of North Adams for 26 years, won a special election to the House to fill the vacancy created by the death of Rep. Gailanne Cariddi. (Berkshire Eagle)


The Senate health care bill came under fire. Insurers raised alarms that the bill would drive up premiums. (State House News) A Herald editorial criticized the legislation, as did an op-ed by the presidents of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Mass. General Hospital, Betsy Nabel and Peter Slavin. The high-cost hospitals are a target of the bill. (Boston Herald) Al Norman, executive director of Mass Home Care, pushes back against a provision in the Senate legislation that would push poor seniors into a program called Senior Care Options. (MassLive)

But Burns Stanfield and David Bor praise the legislation, particularly provisions addressing cost disparities among health care providers (CommonWealth)

Stephanie Ahmed says it’s time for Beacon Hill to take the chains off of nurse practitioners. (CommonWealth)

The Cannabis Control Commission says it needs an extra $5.2 million, on top of the $2.3 it received earlier, to get its pot regulatory apparatus off the ground. (CommonWealth) The state Department of Agricultural Resources is seeking to fill the position of marijuana inspector. (MassLive)


Boston bigwigs and Back Bay denizens are engaged in a delicious (to watch from the sidelines) spat over a proposal to turn a landmark Commonwealth Avenue building into a high-end private club with annual dues of $3,000. (Boston Globe)


Renee Graham spotlights the important connection between domestic violence and the sort of mass attack carried out at a Texas church. (Boston Globe)

Scot Lehigh pans the GOP tax reform plan as short on reform and long on expanding the national debt. (Boston Globe)

The Barnstable County Sheriff’s department could become an immigration enforcement agency if federal officials approve an application that was quietly submitted by Sheriff James Cummings. (Cape Cod Times)


Ralph Northam headlines a Democratic wave with his win in the Virginia governor’s race, one of a string of Democratic victories that suggest possible trouble for the GOP, says Vox’s Matthew Yglesias.

New Jersey voters tapped Democrat  Phillip Murphy, a one-time Wall Street investment banker, to succeed the heavily unpopular Gov. Chris Christie, whose lieutenant governor ran as the GOP nominee but could never get past her Christie ties. (New York Times)

In a largely overlooked referendum that could have implications for the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, Maine voters approved a ballot question expanding Medicaid coverage for low-income people under the age of 65. The Pine Tree State becomes the first to approve Medicaid expansion at the ballot. Gov. Paul LePage, a staunch opponent of Obamacare and major supporter of President Trump, had rejected the expansion despite legislative support. (Portland Press Herald)

Ohio voters decisively rejected a ballot provision that would have allowed state agencies to pay the same price for drugs as the Department of Veterans Affairs. It was another major victory for Big Pharma, which poured millions of dollars into the campaign. (Governing)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is trying to cash in on a Herald story from Tuesday on GOP efforts to target her reelection race next year, sending out a fundraising appeal that cites the coverage. (Boston Herald)

Cambridge native Bill DeBlasio became the latest Massachusetts product to win reelection as mayor of New York City. (New York Times)


Berkshire Superior Court Judge John Agostini ruled that the Berkshire Museum could sell a large portion of its artwork, including two Norman Rockwell paintings, to build up an endowment. Agostino’s ruling wasn’t kind to Attorney General Maura Healey, whom he described as “a reluctant warrior.” (Berkshire Eagle)

State Street Corp. CEO Jay Hooley will retire at the end of 2018 after 30 years at the firm. (Boston Globe)

Twitter lets all users move up to 280 characters.


The intrauterine device, or IUD, may be more than an effective birth control device. A new study indicates it may prevent cervical cancer. (Time)


State Trooper Ryan Sceviour sued two of his superiors after he was ordered to amend portions of a police report he wrote after arresting the daughter of Dudley District Court Judge Timothy Bibaud for driving under the influence. (Telegram & Gazette) MassLive has a copy of the lawsuit.

The Supreme Judicial Court heard arguments in a case brought against MIT by the family of a student who committed suicide. The family contends MIT holds some responsibility for the student’s death. (WBUR)

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents working with local police in southern New Hampshire and Haverhill conducted a series of operations, but were hush-hush about what they were doing. (Eagle-Tribune)


Amid a growing backlash, the Disney Co. reversed its decision to ban critics of the Los Angeles Times from film screenings. Disney had instituted the ban after the newspaper ran a two-part series on its business dealings in Anaheim, where Disneyland and Disney California Adventure are located. (New York Times)

Boston Globe Media president and CFO Vinay Mehra sends a memo to the staff outlining the paper’s approach to sexual harassment claims in the wake of all the stories the Globe has run lately. (Media Nation)