Tonight brings primary elections in 8 of the 10 congressional districts in Massachusetts. Neither U.S. Senate seat for the state is open for re-election this year, and there is no intraparty competition in the 1st and 8th districts.
In the 2nd congressional district, incumbent Richard Neal has no Democratic competition, but Republicans Jay Fleitman and Tom Wesley are facing off for the Republican nomination. Fleitman emphasizes economic issues, while Wesley has complained about the building of a Muslim community center in New York City, citing the “antagonistic naming of the facility as the Cordoba Center.” Apparently, Wesley is unaware of the history of the city of Cordoba as a beacon of tolerance and religious diversity under Muslim rule before the conquering of Spain by Ferdinand and Isabella. The name Cordoba House is a nod to an agenda of reconciliation, not antagonism.
Wesley’s anti-Muslim comments seem to have earned more respect among Republican voters than Fleitman’s fiscal conservatism. With 92 percent of precincts reporting Wesley is nearly ten points ahead of Fleitman, at about 55 percent of the vote.
Like Representative Neal, 3rd district incumbent Jim McGovern has no Democratic rivals. There are five Republican candidates in the district vying for their party’s nomination: Bob Chipman, Robert Delle, Brian Herr, Marty Lamb and Michael Stopa. Chipman argues that he should be the GOP candidate because he is not a lawyer or academic and has no government experience. Delle is campaigning in defense of the Roman Catholic Church against people he describes as “socialists” who “disagree with the Church,” and “act to destroy the teachings of the church.” Herr focuses on economic issues, while Lamb campaigns against job creation by the federal government. Stopa has advanced his campaign with the assertion that Barack Obama is an atheist, but has clarified his initial statements to suggest that atheism is just fine with him.
Stopa’s statements about Obama’s religious identity didn’t help him with 3rd district Republicans. With nearly all precincts reporting, Marty Lamb has 31.5 percent of the vote, with Brian Herr coming in second at 25.3 percent.
In the 4th district, incumbent Barney Frank is fending off a challenge by Rachel Brown, a follower of Lyndon LaRouche and proponent of programs to send humans to the Moon and Mars in order to clarify the “fundamental relationships that the Earth as a whole has to solar and cosmic radiation.” Earl Sholley and Sean Bielat are running for the GOP nomination.
Barney Frank easily held back Rachel Brown’s challenge tonight, with almost 80 percent of the vote. Sean Bielat defeated Earl Sholley, 60 to 40 percent.
Democratic U.S. Representative Niki Tsongas is unchallenged from within the Democratic Party in the 5th district, but will face one of four GOP candidates competing in today’s primary. Jon Golnik is attempting to rally support around the idea that the government should not try to encourage clean, efficient energy, but allow market forces to direct energy usage, and let the chips fall where they may. Sam Meas campaigns against recently passed health care reform. Bob Shapiro claims that global warming is a hoax, and that “there is little, if any, warming trend”, although the data clearly show that 2010 is on the path to become the warmest year on record, with the summer of 2010 already on record as the 2nd hottest ever. Tom Weaver complains of “burdensome regulations” on offshore drilling companies like BP in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
With 90 percent of precincts reporting, Golnik is ahead with 38.6 percent of the vote. Meas is in second place with 25.6 percent.
In the 6th congressional district, Democratic incumbent John Tierney has no rival in today’s primary. Bill Hudak and Rob McCarthy are in competition for the Republican nomination. 85 percent of precincts are reporting, and Hudak has a vast lead, with 77.5 percent of the vote.
Incumbent Ed Markey is the uncontested Democratic nominee in the 7th district. Gerry Dembrowski and Tom Tierney are running for the GOP nomination, in a tight race. Dembrowski appears to have won the election, but only by about 7 percentage points, with 97 percent of precincts reporting.
The 9th district is currently represented by Stephen Lynch, but labor organizer Mac D’Allessandro is seeking to unseat Lynch with a campaign from the Left. Vernon Harrison and Keith Lepor are competing for the Republican nominations, both running on anti-government platforms.
D’Allessandro has gained a substantial minority of the Democratic vote, but at 35 percent, not nearly enough to win the primary. Vernon Harrison will be the Republican nominee. Almost all precincts are now reporting, and Harrison leads with 62.9 percent of the vote.
William Delahunt is retiring from the 10th district seat in the House of Representatives. Bill Keating and Robert O’Leary are running to succeed Delahunt as the Democratic nominee for the district. For the Republican slot, Robert Hayden, Ray Kasperowicz, Joe Malone and Jeff Perry are on the ballot.
Bill Keating appears to have scraped by with a victory of Robert O’Leary, but with a margin of less than one thousand votes, 50.7 percent to 49.3 percent. The Republican race is much more clear, as Jeff Perry wins the contest with over 60 percent of the vote, and second place Joe Malone with 29.3 percent.