Super PAC with ties to Baker backed 15 winners

The normally tight-lipped super PAC with close ties to Gov. Charlie Baker is crowing about its performance in this week’s primary. 

The Massachusetts Majority PAC spent $171,432 supporting 12 Democrats and three Republicans in their respective primaries – and all 15 emerged victorious. Nine of them were essentially elected because they face no opponent in the final election. 

Gregg Lisciotti, the chairman of the super PAC, said he was proud of the effort to help elect or re-elect what he called “a bipartisan slate of political centrists.” 

“Massachusetts Majority has more than $1.4 million in cash on hand heading towards the general election, and will continue to invest in commonsense candidates that represent the viewpoints of the majority of our Commonwealth’s citizens,” Lisciotti said in a statement. 

The crowing comes as Baker, who has helped raise a lot of the super PAC’s money since it was launched in 2019, is preparing to step down after eight years in office. Baker himself did little to support candidates in Tuesday’s primary election, endorsing only one politician – GOP auditor candidate Anthony Amore.

 The super PAC’s “political centrists” included Democratic district attorney candidates Kevin Hayden in Suffolk County and Tom Quinn in Bristol and GOP district attorney candidate Dan Higgins from the Cape and Islands.

Two of the “commonsense candidates” included Sen. Walter Timilty of Milton and Rep. Paul Donato of Medford, who faced opponents challenging their opposition to abortion legislation. Timilty won fairly handily, while Donato barely eked out a victory.  

The other incumbents the super PAC supported with digital and direct mail advertising were Republican Sen. Patrick O’Connor of Weymouth and Democratic Reps. John Barrett III of North Adams, Christopher Markey of Dartmouth, Russell Holmes of Boston, Joseph McGonagle of Everett, Bud Williams of Springfield, and William Galvin of Canton.

The political newcomers backed by the super PAC included Democratic rep candidates Simon Cataldo of Concord and Rodney Elliott of Lowell and Republican rep candidate Andrew Shepherd of Townsend. 

Maura Healey, who is running to replace Baker as governor and had no opponent in the Democratic primary, lent her support mostly to candidates running statewide. But her endorsements in down-ballot races overlapped with the Massachusetts Majority PAC on two candidates – Donato and Markey. 

Super PACs can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money, but they are barred from coordinating with the campaigns they support. 




Markey takes heat: Jenny Armini of Marblehead scored a narrow victory in a state rep race against an old-boy network that backed 26-year-old Tristan Smith, the son of one of the state’s top lobbyists. Armini won by 308 votes and joined the three other women in the six-person race to criticize US Sen. Ed Markey for endorsing Smith. Markey, a friend of the Smith family, issued a statement saying he backed Tristan Smith because he was the candidate “who will get things done.” Read more.

Devaney hangs on: Marilyn Devaney narrowly retains the Governor’s Council seat she has held for 23 years without spending any campaign funds. Read more.

DiMasi case to SJC: The Supreme Judicial Court holds a hearing on the Sal DiMasi lobbying case. Read more.


Stepping it up: Sen. Elizabeth Warren hails passage of the CHIPS Act but says the US still needs to step up its game when it comes to basic research. Read more.





The Holyoke police chief complains after a city councilor compares the police to a gang. (MassLive)


Smaller and mid-sized hospitals in the state are scaling back spending in the face of COVID-related financial pressures. (Boston Globe


The Anti-Defamation League says two elected officials from Massachusetts, and 550 total state residents, are on a leaked list of members of the white supremacist group Oath Keepers, but it has not identified them. (MassLive)


More fallout from Suffolk DA race: T officials say it was an “inappropriate” use of the Transit Police Twitter account when a message went out after midnight on primary night ripping DA Kevin Hayden. (Boston Herald

State Rep. Paul Tucker narrowly wins the Democratic primary for Essex County district attorney. (Salem News) There will be lots of political changes in Salem with Mayor Kim Driscoll winning the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor and now on a ticket heavily favored in November, Tucker becoming DA (he has no GOP opposition), and Manny Cruz poised to become a new state representative. (Salem News)

Tuesday’s primary was a big day for women, who scored big wins in statewide races, including the Democratic ticket for governor and lieutenant governor. If Maura Healey and Kim Driscoll, Massachusetts would become the first state with women holding the two offices together. (Boston Globe

Officials in Barnstable, where ballots were locked in a vault all day and polls were kept open until midnight, were still tallying election results Wednesday night. (MassLive)

Ashley Sullivan, who chairs the Gloucester Republican City Committee, will challenge Democratic state Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante as a write-in candidate. (Gloucester Daily Times)

In Merrimack Valley legislative races, Lawrence City Councilor Pavel Payano will fill the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Diana DiZioglio, Francisco Paulino defeated Rep. Marcos Devers to claim his House seat, and Lawrence City Councilor Estela Reyes wins the new Fourth Essex House District seat. None will face Republican opposition in November. (Eagle-Tribune)

Incumbent state Reps. Christopher Markey and William Straus both win their respective primaries. (Standard-Times)

A MassLive analysis says the lieutenant governor’s race shows the continued political divide between the eastern and western parts of the state.

In their first post-primary appearances, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Maura Healey promotes economic development in Worcester while Republican Geoff Diehl slams the COVID vaccine mandate for state government workers. (MassLive)


Boston University president Robert Brown plans to step down after 17 years at the helm. (Boston Globe

School officials in New Bedford worry about the impact that raising the bar for MCAS scores will have on students in the district. (Standard-Times)

The Boston Public Schools asked a federal appeals court to throw out a suit challenging its temporary exam school admission policies, arguing the case is now moot because the plan has since been replaced by a permanent new admission structure. (Boston Globe)


With tourists back in record numbers, Lenox thrived this summer. (Berkshire Eagle)


WBUR and New Hampshire Public Radio take a deep dive into why electricity prices are rising at different rates across New England.

Gloucester’s Marine Research Station will get a $400,000 investment to expand research in areas including commercial fishing and coastal climate change. (Gloucester Daily Times)


A trial is scheduled this month in the case of a Worcester man who sued the police alleging he served 16 years in jail because the Worcester police framed him. (Telegram & Gazette)

A New Bedford school committee member is arraigned for driving under the influence after a crash in which a girl was injured. (Standard-Times)

Two inmate deaths, apparent suicides, at the Barnstable County jail are under investigation. (The Enterprise

A correction officer at MCI-Shirley is on life support after being attacked by an inmate. (MassLive)


Boston Globe editor Brian McGrory is stepping down after 10 years in the job to accept a position as chairman of the journalism department at Boston University. He’ll also return to a past role – contributing an opinion column at the Globe. (Boston Globe

New Jersey-based CherryRoad Media is buying four weekly papers in Central Massachusetts that Gannett had planned to close. (Telegram & Gazette)

Merriam-Webster adds 370 new words to its dictionary, including laggy, sponcon, janky, and adorkable.