Massachusetts state executive official elections, 2022

The Massachusetts primary elections were held on September 6, 2022, determining which candidates advanced to the November general election for key state executive offices. With an open governor’s seat and multiple competitive down-ballot races, the primaries shaped up to be an important precursor for the fall campaigns. This article provides an overview of the primary candidates who sought the Democratic and Republican nominations for the top state offices up for election.

Overview of Key Races

Several important statewide positions were on the ballot in 2022, resulting in numerous candidates stepping forward. Here is a brief summary of the fields for the top races:

Governor

The governor’s race was wide open in 2022 with incumbent Republican Charlie Baker opting not to seek a third term. Democrats had a crowded field of candidates aiming to flip the seat blue, while Republicans had a smaller pool of contenders.

Lieutenant Governor

With the governor’s office open, there was heightened interest in the lieutenant governor primaries as well. Several legislators and local officials jumped in.

Attorney General

Democratic incumbent Maura Healey decided to run for governor rather than reelection, leaving another open statewide seat up for grabs.

Secretary of State

Longtime Democratic Secretary of State Bill Galvin faced his first primary challenge in over a decade from a Boston city councilor.

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Treasurer

Democratic Treasurer Deb Goldberg ran unopposed in the primary as she sought a third term.

Auditor

Democrats had an open seat for state auditor with the retirement of Suzanne Bump. Two state legislators ran for the nomination.

Governor’s Council

Multiple seats on the Governor’s Council, which votes on judicial nominations, were contested in the primary.

Democratic Primaries

The Democratic primary fields were packed with a range of candidates, both established political figures and newcomers. Here is an overview of the key Democratic nominating contests:

Governor

The Democratic gubernatorial primary emerged as a two-person race between Attorney General Maura Healey and state Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz. Healey had a substantial lead in fundraising and endorsements, while Chang-Diaz positioned herself as the progressive alternative. Chang-Diaz ended her campaign in June, effectively ceding the nomination to Healey.

Lieutenant Governor

Three Democratic legislators—State Senator Eric Lesser, State Senator Adam Hinds, and Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll—were the top candidates running for LG. Lesser and Hinds dropped out in early 2022, leaving Driscoll as the frontrunner going into the primary.

Attorney General

Former Boston City Councilor Andrea Campbell, labor attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan, and former assistant attorney general Quentin Palfrey competed for the Democratic AG nomination. Palfrey suspended his campaign in August, setting up a Campbell-Liss-Riordan battle.

Secretary of State

Incumbent Secretary of State Bill Galvin faced a challenge from Boston City Councilor Tanisha Sullivan. Sullivan argued it was time for a change in leadership, while Galvin touted his experience managing elections.

Auditor

State Senator Diana DiZoglio and transportation advocate Chris Dempsey were the two Democrats running for state auditor. DiZoglio stressed her government oversight experience, while Dempsey cited his private sector background.

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Governor’s Council

Multiple Democratic Governor’s Council incumbents faced primary challengers, including Eileen Duff in the 5th District and Marilyn Devaney in the 3rd District. Most incumbents were favored to win renomination.

Republican Primaries

The Republican side had far fewer candidates come forward, with several statewide races seeing no primary contests at all. Here is a recap of the key GOP nomination fights:

Governor

Former State Representative Geoff Diehl and businessman Chris Doughty competed for the Republican gubernatorial nod. Diehl had former President Trump’s endorsement, while Doughty ran as a more moderate alternative.

Lieutenant Governor

Businesswoman Leah Cole Allen was the lone Republican running for lieutenant governor after facing no primary opposition.

Attorney General

Lawyer James McMahon secured the GOP attorney general nomination without a challenger.

Auditor

Businessman and former Wellesley selectman Anthony Amore ran unopposed for the Republican auditor nomination.

Governor’s Council

Republican primaries took place in the 2nd and 7th District Governor’s Council races, including Dashe Videira challenging incumbent Robert Jubinville.

Key Takeaways

  • The Democratic fields were crowded with competitive primaries taking place for open seats like governor and attorney general.
  • Republicans had far fewer candidates come forward, with no statewide primary contests besides governor.
  • Several down-ballot races like lieutenant governor and auditor saw Democratic primaries but no GOP opposition.
  • Governor’s Council primaries included challenges to sitting Democratic members in multiple districts.
  • Establishment figures like Maura Healey and Bill Galvin were favored over newcomers in their Democratic primaries.
  • The primaries set the stage for the fall statewide general elections between Democrats and Republicans.
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Conclusion

The 2022 Massachusetts primary elections featured important nomination contests that shaped the general election landscape. Multiple statewide positions drew Democratic primaries with more than two candidates, including the open governor and attorney general seats. The Republican side was less competitive, with the main primary battle being for governor. Several down-ballot row offices and Governor’s Council spots also saw primary races on both sides. The candidates who emerged from the primaries advanced to the November election, where critical partisan control of state government was at stake in the blue state.

FAQs

Who won the Democratic primary for governor?

Attorney General Maura Healey won the Democratic nomination for governor after her challenger Sonia Chang-Diaz dropped out of the race.

What was the most crowded statewide Democratic primary?

The Democratic primary for attorney general drew the largest field with three candidates – Andrea Campbell, Shannon Liss-Riordan, and Quentin Palfrey.

How many Republican primaries took place for statewide offices?

Republicans only had competitive primaries for governor and auditor – the other statewide races had no GOP opposition.

Who challenged Bill Galvin in the secretary of state primary?

Boston City Councilor Tanisha Sullivan ran against longtime Democratic incumbent Bill Galvin for secretary of state.

Which districts had Governor’s Council primaries?

Democratic primaries took place in the 3rd, 5th, and 7th Governor’s Council districts. Republicans had primaries in the 2nd and 7th districts.

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