massachusetts politics


A first time candidate in Springfield’s municipal election has won a rare endorsement from a veteran Massachusetts politician. 

State Rep. Benjamin Swan, dean of the city’s legislative delegation, Wednesday announced his support for Jesse Lederman’s bid to win an at-large seat on the Springfield City Council in the November 3rd election.

" He's a young man. He's energetic, " Swan said of Lederman. " He'll be a very positive addition to the council."

Dwight Sipler

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, the state’s first black governor and first Democratic governor in 16 years, will walk out of the Statehouse next week and hand the key to the corner office to Republican Charlie Baker.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

Charlie Baker’s first cabinet pick is a Democrat.  The Republican Massachusetts governor-elect has named a respected city administrator to be his economic chief.

Governor-elect Charlie Baker Wednesday named Chelsea City Manager Jay Ash to be his administration’s Secretary of Housing and Economic Development.  A statement from the transition committee praised Ash as “an accomplished local government official who reflects the administration’s focus on job creation, communities, and bipartisanship.”

Dave Roback, Springfield Republican

The five candidates hoping to become the next governor of Massachusetts met in western Massachusetts last night for their first broadcast debate.  With five weeks to Election Day, and polls indicating a close race, the frontrunners played it safe and avoided gaffes.

Republican Charlie Baker and Democrat Martha Coakley differed on the need for universal preschool and indexing the gasoline tax to inflation during a mostly cordial hour-long debate in Springfield Monday night that also included the three independent candidates for governor.


With just four days to go before Massachusetts voters go to the polls for the primary election, candidates looked for support today at the annual breakfast held by the Pioneer Valley Central Labor Council.

Two of the three Democratic candidates for governor, Don Berwick and Steve Grossman made personal appeals for organized labor’s support in Tuesday’s primary. The frontrunner, Martha Coakley, was not at the breakfast, which was attended by 300 union officials, activists, political operatives, and candidates.


Massachusetts Republicans endorsed a full slate of candidates at the party’s convention over the weekend.  This year’s election will feature open seats for Governor, Lt. Governor and two other statewide offices.

The GOP is hoping to make inroads in Massachusetts where it currently holds no statewide offices, no seats in the state’s congressional delegation and is outnumbered in the Massachusetts legislature by about 5 to 1.

Charlie Baker, making his second run for governor in Massachusetts, got the Republican nomination at the state party convention over the weekend.  Baker narrowly avoided a primary fight – at least for now.

Republican activists at the state convention in Boston strongly backed Baker for their party’s gubernatorial nomination with 82 percent of the 2,500 delegates voting for him.

" Thank you for believing in me," Baker said to the cheering delegates.

Massachusetts Republicans hold a convention in Boston on Saturday to endorse candidates for statewide office.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with state Republican Party Chair Kirsten Hughes.  

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2013 should have been an off-year for statewide politics in Massachusetts, but that was not the case, as the state’s voters were called upon to elect another new U.S. Senator

The election cycle actually began in late 2012 when President Obama nominated Massachusetts Senator John Kerry to be U.S. Secretary of State. After securing Senate confirmation in January, Kerry resigned from the Senate seat he had held for 28 years.

State Senator Stanley Rosenberg of Amherst is poised to become the next president of the Massachusetts Senate.  The 63 year old Rosenberg, who has been in the state legislature since 1987, announced he had received the overwhelming support of the Democratic caucus on Wednesday to succeed Senate President Therese Murray when her term ends.   WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Rosenberg.

When Timothy Murray steps down next month as Massachusetts lieutenant governor it will mean the state’s top elected officials will all reside in the greater Boston area.

   It is rare for a politician who lives west of the Boston suburbs to win election to statewide office. Jane Swift of North Adams was elected  lieutenant governor in 1998 and later served two years as acting governor. Murray, who is from Worcester, forged a bond with western Massachusetts. State Representative Angelo Puppolo of Springfield does not believe the region will suffer when Murray leaves office.

Voters in Massachusetts are going to the polls on Tuesday for a primary to select candidates for the upcoming special election to replace Senator John Kerry.  Kerry, of course went on the replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State earlier this year. For a preview on what to expect on primary day WAMC's Bob Barrett spoke with Scot Lehigh, a columnist for the Boston Globe.

The Springfield Republican ( debate pool photograph)

With just a week remaining before the primaries in the special election for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts the two Democratic candidates held a debate in Springfield last night that was punctuated with heated rhetoric. 

The two veteran U.S. Representatives, Stephen Lynch and Edward Markey, argued bitterly over their Congressional voting records on issues ranging from homeland security to health care to the bailout of the automobile industry. Markey accused Lynch of personal attacks and deliberate distortions, while Lynch at one point called Markey a “liar.”

With exactly one week until the party primaries in the special election for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts the two Democratic candidates will participate in a debate in Springfield.

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BOSTON (AP) — Former Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey has joined a growing list of Republicans who've ruled out running in a special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the departure of former Sen. John Kerry.

Healey said Monday she was grateful for the advice of those who urged her to get into the race but said she's decided against it.


John Kerry is spending his final day as a United State Senator thanking the people of Massachusetts. Events were scheduled in the state’s three largest cities, with the farewell tour beginning in Springfield.

After 28 years representing Massachusetts in the United States Senate John Kerry said closing that chapter of his career is bittersweet.

Fickr/Diane Beckwith-Zink and Wikimedia Commons

BOSTON (AP) — GOP officials close to Scott Brown report that the former Republican senator is "leaning strongly toward running" in the special election to replace Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry.

They report that Brown is likely to enter the race early next week. The officials spoke Tuesday on the condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to share internal discussions.

Republicans in the state Legislature in Massachusetts are calling for the departure of JudyAnn Bigby, the state's health and human services secretary.

In a letter sent on Thursday to Gov. Deval Patrick, House Republicans cited "poor management" in the aftermath of two recent crises: The alleged tampering with drug tests at a former Department of Public Health lab, and a deadly outbreak of fungal meningitis linked to a Framingham compounding pharmacy that was regulated by the state.

Elizabeth Warren is going to be the first woman from Massachusetts to serve in the United States Senate.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill looks at Warren’s historic victory in Tuesday’s election.

The outcome of Tuesday’s closely watched, highly competitive election for US Senate in Massachusetts was not surprising, but was none the less improbable.  When the campaign began,  Warren was a relatively obscure, first time candidate, according to Tim Vercellotti, the director of the Western New England University Polling Institute.


The candidates for US Senate in Massachusetts met for a third debate Wednesday night. The face off in Springfield produced sharp exchanges on policy issues including taxes, healthcare and women’s rights.   WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

The two candidates in the closely watched U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts had a combative debate Monday night.  In their second face to face showdown, Republican incumbent Scott Brown and Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren  aggressively clashed on several issues.    WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

The closely watched race for the US Senate in Massachusetts has taken a negative turn. With three recent polls showing Democrat Elizabeth Warren  with a small lead among likely voters, Republican incumbent Scott Brown is targeting Warren’s character.   WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

A Massachusetts group has released their annual ratings of state lawmakers on taxpayer friendliness. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard has more on how the legislative session stacked-up…

The Citizens for Limited Taxation rate each lawmaker on how they performed, according to the group’s philosophy, on, as Associate Director of CLT and Director of CLT’s political action committee Chip Faulkner says...

Tomorrow, Massachusetts voters will head to the polls to vote in the September 6th Democratic Primary. And in Berkshire County, primary voters will also choose a new Middle Berkshire Register of Deeds. WAMC's Berkshire bureau Chief Lucas Willard has an eye on the closely watched race....

The Register of Deeds position itself manages and records all deeds, land titles, and land records for a district within the Commonwealth. It is an elected and not appointed position. 

Massachusetts Democrats are trying to tie Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown to Mitt Romney's hand-picked running mate, conservative Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan.  Lucas Willard has more…

Democrats are banking that Ryan's budget proposals, including his plans to transform Medicare into a voucher system and re-shape the nation's tax system, could undermine support for Brown and other Massachusetts Republicans, including congressional hopeful Richard Tisei.