POST-GAZETTE - Res Publica

I Have No Choice in the Matter

by David Trumbull

August 8, 2008

The State Primary Election is just over a month away—Tuesday, September 16th. Here in Suffolk County (Boston, Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop) most voters will find only one race of interest, that for U.S. Senator, where incumbent Democrat John F. Kerry faces a primary challenge from Edward J. O’Reilly. The winner of that contest will go on to face Republican Jeffrey K. Beatty in the November election.

There are no primary contests in the three U.S. representative districts that include parts of Suffolk County. But in one district, the 7th, which includes Revere and Winthrop, the Democratic incumbent will face a GOP challenger, John Cunningham, in November.

There are six State Senate seats in Suffolk County. All are currently held by Democrats. In the 2nd Suffolk District incumbent Dianne Wilkerson faces a primary opponent, Sonia Rosa Chang-Diaz. All six seats will stay in the “D” column—no Republicans are running.

The 19 State Representative seats in Suffolk County are all occupied by Democrats and will continue to be as there are no Republicans running. The September 16th Primary does present contests to voters in two of these districts. In the 5th Suffolk District Democrats Marie St. Fleur and Roy Owens both seek their party’s nomination. And in the 6th Suffolk District there is a primary contest between Willie Mae Allen and Faustina Kathy Gabriel.

So there it is. Out 29 offices to be filled, in only two will the choice be between a Republican and Democrat in November. In four cases the choice of the Democratic nominee will be made by the voters in the September 16th Primary. In 24 out of 29 potential contests the voters will have no choice either in September or November—there will be a single name, that of a Democrat, on both ballots.

I did not mention other parties because they are irrelevant. The Rainbow Party has only one candidate in the entire Commonwealth. He’s running for State Senator in Worcester County. The Working Families Party has no candidates for any office.

[David Trumbull is the chairman of the Boston Ward Three Republican Committee. Boston's Ward Three includes the North End, West End, part of Beacon Hill, downtown, waterfront, Chinatown, and part of the South End.]