Baker, Pressley, Diehl among winners in Mass. primary

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Baker, Pressley, Diehl among winners in Mass. primary

Your Local Election Headquarters: Election Results» 

BOSTON (AP/WPRI) — The ballot for the November election is shaping up in Massachusetts, including the race for governor, a U.S. Senate seat and all the state’s House seats.

Gov. Charlie Baker fended off a primary challenge by conservative minister Scott Lively in the GOP gubernatorial campaign. Lively had pitched himself as the pro-Donald Trump alternative to Baker, who has distanced himself from the Republican president.

In his victory speech, Baker outlined his administration successes and detailed areas where improvements still need to be made, including the state’s transportation infrastructure, the ongoing opioid crisis, and education.

“Whatever the issue— opioids, schools, jobs, transportation or housing—we need to keep putting progress before politics,” Baker said. “At a time when our country is having trouble finding common ground on so many issues, we in Massachusetts are the exception.” 

He touted his ability to work across the aisle with Democrats, a quality that has earned him the title of one of the most popular governors in America even in a deep-blue state.

“We believe the people in public life can and should debate the issues respectively and seek common ground where they can find it,” Baker said.

As he seeks a second term, Baker will face off against the winner of the Democratic primary, Jay Gonzalez. 

Gonzalez served as former Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick’s budget chief, defeating political activist Bob Massie in Tuesday’s primary.  

“I’m running to make a meaningful difference for all the little guys out there. I’ll be a champion for regular people who are being left behind Donald Trump and the Republican Party,” Gonzalez said. 

He has criticized Baker, accusing him of mismanagement at the MBTA.

In his acceptance speech, Gonzalez outlined his agenda and pledged to run an “honest, positive campaign.”

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren ran unopposed in the Democratic primary, clinching the nomination. Republican Geoff Diehl, a Trump supporter, will face off against the incumbent in November, after defeating John Kingston and Beth Lindstrom.

All three candidates tried to turn Warren’s national profile against her, criticizing her for being too politically extreme and spending too much time preparing for a possible presidential run in 2020.

In the South Coast, incumbent U.S. Congressman Joe Kennedy III defeated a challenge by Gary Rucinski for the Democratic nomination in House District 4. Kennedy – a grandson of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy – is in his third term and will run unopposed in November as there are no Republican candidates declared.

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Bill Keating also was able to hold on to the Democratic nomination, defeating primary challenger William Cimbrelo.

Keating represents the 9th Congressional District, which includes the state’s South Shore, Cape Cod and the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. He will face off against Republican Peter Tedeschi, the head of a popular convenience store chain, in the November election.

The big upset of the night was Boston city councilor Ayanna Pressley defeating Rep. Michael Capuano for the Democratic nomination in the 7th Congressional District.

Capuano conceded defeat about an hour after the polls closed, telling a crowd of supporters: “This is OK. America’s going to be OK, Ayanna Pressley’s going to be a good congresswoman and Massachusetts is going to be well-served.”

With no Republican challenger in November, Pressley is poised to become the first black woman to represent Massachusetts in Congress.

“It seems like change is on the way,” Pressley said in her victory speech.

Secretary of State William Galvin, the longest-serving constitutional officer in state history, held off his strongest Democratic primary challenge in years from Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim.

Q&A: What Massachusetts voters need to know about primary » | Your Local Election Headquarters »


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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