Posted by: jamesvw | March 15, 2010

April 13 – Two Massachusetts State Senate Primaries

Apr. 13 – Two Massachusetts State Senate Primaries

After Scott Brown’s shocking victory in the special election to fill the late Edward Kennedy’s US Senate seat, there will be a special primary election held to select nominees for this seat. This will be held on the same day that voters in another part of Massachusetts select the nominee to fill the seat of Democrat Anthony Galluccio who resigned after fleeing the scene of an accident and repeated drunk-driving offenses.

Democrats hold a commanding lead in the chamber – 34-4 with these two vacancies.

Norfolk, Bristol & Middlesex (Formerly held by Scott Brown (R))

Republicans have rallied around one candidate in this race and therefore will have to wait until the general election on May 11 to vote for their candidate. They have chosen Richard Ross, a State Representative from the 9th Norfolk district. He actually won his State Rep. seat after Scott Brown moved up to the Senate and he is hoping to replicate the transition this year as well. Originally running a funeral home in his town of Wrentham, he also served on the selectboard for the town. To learn more, visit his website here.

Two Democrats are vying for the nomination in this race. Peter Smulowitz is an emergency physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Needham, where he lives with his wife. With a Masters in Health Policy, he has been active politically in working for medical liability reform and national health care reform. To learn more about his campaign, click here.

Lida Harkins is a State Representative from Needham and has served in the 13th Norfolk district since 1988. Before her time in the legislature, she worked as an elementary school teacher and served on the Needham School Committee. To learn more about her campaign, click here.

Middlesex, Suffolk & Essex (Formerly held by Anthony Galluccio (D))

In this very liberal district containing parts of Boston as well as Somerville, Cambridge, Everett, Chelsea, Revere and Saugus, the primary will almost certainly be the deciding vote. As of right now, only Democrats are running for the seat. 6 of them.

The Democrats include:

Michael Albano is a native of East Somerville and is a small businessman. He has been heavily involved in progressive politics in the area and learned much of the political trade from his father, Sal, who was a State Senator. To learn more about his campaign, click here.

Dennis Benzan is a native of Cambridge and is a practicing family law and real estate attorney in the city. He has been heavily involved in local politics and community action, working, for example, with the Algebra Project, a Cambridge-based non-profit helping community members take stake in their local school system. To learn more about his campaign, click here.

Sal DiDomenico is a Cambridge native and the former chief of staff to Anthony Galluccio, whose seat he is hoping to win. Before that job, he served as president of the Everett Common Council and worked as a hotel executive in the greater Boston area. To learn more, click here.

Tim Flaherty served for eight years as a Norfolk County Assistant District Attorney, opting to work in public service law around the community who was born and raised in, Cambridge. He is the son of former Speaker of the House Charles Flaherty and a “triple Eagle” (Boston College High, undergraduate and law school graduate). He currently runs his own law firm and teaches at BC. To learn more, click here.

Dan Hill is a local lawyer who runs his own firm in Charlestown focusing on state and municipal law. A Cape Cod native, he is heavily involved in local environmental issues and is a member of the Watershed Associations for the Charles River, Mystic River and Saugus River. To learn more, click here.

E. Denise Simmons became Mayor of Cambridge in 2008. The position, which goes to the head of the City Council, meant that she became the first black openly gay head of a municipality in the United States. A native of the city and the first executive director of the Cambridge Civic Unity Committee, a citizens’ advocacy entity, Simmons has worked to make the city more transparent and open to all its citizens. To learn more, click here.



  1. I’ve been tracking these races pretty closely.

    Scott Brown’s seat:

    I don’t know whether Smulowitz or Harkins will take the Democratic primary. If this was a normal election I’d say Smulowitz. He’s young and smart. And Harkins is tainted by association with recent political scandals.

    With such a short schedule its hard to tell. I’m betting Smulowitz. But in general election I think Ross will win by a lot. The district has become very conservative, and Ross is doing very well.

    check out my analysis here:

    Massachusetts Election 2010 – Ross Harkins Smulowitz

    Galluccio’s Seat:

    With a short schedule its hard to know who will win, and there are 6 candidates so that complicates things.

    The short answer is Sal DiDomenico takes it. He’s got a lot of support in Everett and north from there. He’s also the more moderate Democrat and that works well as you get into the increasingly working class areas north.

    The other candidates are based in Cambridge, and are very far to the left and will split the left Cambridge vote. The strongest among those is Tim Flaherty.

    If there is one darkhorse candidate who seems to be growing fast its Benzan. I’m very surprised. I counted him out at the start – but he’s getting a lot of traction among Hispanic voters who has has almost to himself.

    I have a detailed analysis here:

    Massachusetts Election 2010 – DiDomenico Flaherty Benzan

  2. […] April 13 – Two Massachusetts State Senate Primaries « A&#406&#406 Politics &#1110&#1109 … […]

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Judy Neufeld, PP Advocacy Fund MA. PP Advocacy Fund MA said: Don't forget to vote in tomorrow's primaries to fill Galluccio's/Brown's vacant seats: […]

  4. What’s happening with this two races? The general in them are 05/11/10

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