GOOD MORNING, MASSACHUSETTS. We made it to November. Happy Election Week!
FIVE LOCAL RACES TO WATCH — President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden are not the only thing on the ballot tomorrow.
In Massachusetts, a Bernie Sanders-endorsed Democrat is trying to knock out one of the few Republicans left in the state Senate, while two Republicans are working to flip legislative seats back to red after Democrats made gains in 2018. Plus, a rematch on Cape Cod and a race for sheriff that will make your head spin. Click the links for stories from in-district local newspapers.
RAUSCH VS. KELLY — State Sen. Becca Rausch is facing a challenge from Franklin Town Councilor Matthew Kelly, a Republican. Rausch, a first-term Democrat from Needham, flipped the seat from red to blue in 2018, ousting GOP state Sen. Richard Ross. The seat has some Republican lineage — It was previously held by Sen. Scott Brown before he went to Washington. Well-known Democrats including Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Ayanna Pressley have lent their support to Rausch. Link.
O’CONNOR VS. WHEELER — Republican state Sen. Patrick O’Connor, of Weymouth, is defending his seat for a second time in as many election cycles. Cohasset Democrat Meg Wheeler is hoping to oust O’Connor, and just picked up an endorsement from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Environmental groups are split on the race, which could shrink the state Senate’s four-member Republican caucus even further. Link.
NGUYEN VS. DUFOUR — Andover Rep. Tram Nguyen, a first-term Democrat, is running against Tewksbury Republican Jeff Dufour, after flipping the seat blue in 2018. The race has gotten ugly. A race-baiting robocall recently targeted Nguyen’s district, which Dufour said he had no knowledge about. In 2018, Nguyen beat former state Rep. Jim Lyons, perhaps the legislature’s most outspoken conservative, who later became chair of the state Republican Party. Link.
MORAN VS. MCMAHON — Newly-elected state Sen. Sue Moran will face Republican attorney Jay McMahon for a second time this year. The pair faced-off in a special election in May, which Moran, a Falmouth Democrat, won by around 2,500 votes. In the election earlier this year, the candidates got a taste of the kind of outcome that could mark the presidential race this year. McMahon, of Buzzards Bay, appeared to have a lead in Plymouth the night of the election, but Moran won after mail-in ballots were tallied several days later. Link.
MCDERMOTT VS. MCDERMOTT — It’s usually unwise to bet on politics. But in this case, you can put your money on McDermott. That’s because Norfolk County Sheriff Jerry McDermott, a Westwood Republican, is running against Quincy Democrat Patrick McDermott. They’re not related, the Sun Chronicle reports. Link.
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TODAY — Secretary of State Bill Galvin speaks with the press ahead of Election Day. Rep. Joe Kennedy III speaks to volunteers from the Yes on 2 campaign about ranked choice voting.
ELECTIONLAND: POLITICO is partnering with Electionland, a ProPublica project that works with newsrooms to track voting issues around the country. The Electionland project covers problems that prevent eligible voters from casting their ballots during the 2020 elections. We’re part of a coalition of newsrooms around the country that are investigating issues related to voter registration, pandemic-related changes to voting, the shift to vote-by-mail, cybersecurity, voter education, misinformation, and more. Tell us here if you’re having trouble voting.
– “Massachusetts reports 1,139 new COVID cases Sunday, marking 10th consecutive day of 1,000-plus cases,” by Benjamin Kail, MassLive.com: “State health officials on Sunday reported 1,139 new COVID-19 cases, marking the tenth day in a row with more than 1,000 new positive tests, as well as 22 more deaths linked to the virus. Throughout the pandemic, 155,660 people in Massachusetts have been infected and 9,788 have died; when including probable cases, the death toll now exceeds 10,000, at 10,013.”
– RELATED: “Troubling signs emerge that COVID-19 is tightening its hold on the state,” by John Hilliard, Boston Globe. Link.
– “Household ‘Clusters’ Are A Problem In Massachusetts, But Source Of Most COVID Infections Remains Elusive,” by Craig LeMoult, GBH News: “The state Department of Public Health released new details last week about the sources of COVID-19 clusters in Massachusetts, using data from the state’s contact tracing efforts. But in some ways, the data raise more questions than answers. While Gov. Charlie Baker and other public officials have repeatedly said the biggest risk of infection was coming from social gatherings, particularly among young people, the data show that the vast majority of COVID-19 clusters were traced back to transmission within households.”
– “Saving the economy and saving lives, local officials once again stuck with no good choices,” by Shirley Leung and Larry Edelman, Boston Globe: “Rattled by a resurgent pandemic, public officials and business executives are scrambling to avoid another destructive lockdown by closing only a sliver of the economy in the hardest hit cities and towns, while pushing for a radical expansion of testing into everyday life.”
– “Pandemic Payday: Connected MA Consultants Secure Large Covid Ed Contracts,” by Dan Atkinson, DigBoston: “As Massachusetts officials have passed federal coronavirus relief money to schools, they have also directed more than $1 million to politically connected consultants, much of it through no-bid arrangements, as they hired outside consultants to help create the state’s school reopening plan.”
– “Massachusetts Reinstates Travel Rules For Connecticut And New Jersey,” The Associated Press: “Massachusetts is reinstating quarantine rules for travelers who visit the state from Connecticut and New Jersey. Visitors from the two states will be required to quarantine for two weeks or have proof of a negative COVID-19 test, Boston.com reported. The decision comes as coronavirus cases are ticking up in New England and around the country.”
– “Governor’s Council seats field no challengers,” by Christian M. Wade, Gloucester Daily Times: “Every member of the Governor’s Council, an obscure Colonial-era board with final say over the appointments of state judges, is set to return to their jobs for another two years Tuesday. None of the seven incumbents, all of whom are Democrats, drew challengers for reelection.”
– “Everett city councilors pressure their first Black female colleague to resign,” by Stephanie Ebbert, Boston Globe: “Several city councilors in Everett, one of the Massachusetts cities hit hardest by the coronavirus, told their only Black colleague last week that if she is not willing to attend council meetings in person, she should resign. Councilor Gerly Adrien has been participating in council meetings via Zoom because she is concerned about exposing a vulnerable family member to the virus.”
– “From the Street to the Ballot Box: Turning Black Lives Matter Protests Into Votes,” by Phillip Martin, GBH News: “Nineteen-year old Carrie Mays has spent the last few weeks on the streets of Boston armed with a clipboard, a pen and a list of names of potential voters… Mays is one of a host of young people who organized street protests over the summer to call for racial justice in the wake of several high-profile police killings of unarmed Black people. Now she is trying to convert that movement’s grassroots energy into political power.”
– “Friendly’s to sell restaurant locations, file for bankruptcy,” by Michelle Williams, MassLive.com: “Friendly’s may soon be under new ownership. Friendly Ice Cream Corporation, the Western Massachusetts-based parent company of Friendly’s restaurants, announced late Sunday that the company entered a sale agreement and will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.”
– “Here are the Massachusetts cities and towns with the highest voting turnouts so far,” by Nik DeCosta-Klipa, Boston.com: “Close to half of registered voters in Massachusetts have already cast their ballots through in this year’s election, taking advantage of the state’s expanded early and mail-in voting due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
– “U.S. Attorney For Mass. Andrew Lelling On Overseeing The 2020 Election,” by Sharon Brody and Paul Connearney, WBUR: “Election Day is looming on the horizon. Although many have voted through mail or voted early, others will still be flocking to the polling sites on Tuesday. U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Andrew Lelling is overseeing the monitoring of conditions during and after the election.”
– “Uber and Lyft are in an Election Day showdown with California. Massachusetts might be next,” by Adam Vaccaro, Boston Globe: “As if there wasn’t already enough to watch out for on election night, Massachusetts voters might want to keep an eye on California for a taste of a massive political battle that might be coming here next. A ballot initiative in California asks voters whether to exempt gig economy companies such as Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash from a new law that requires them to treat their workers as employees, making them eligible for wages and other benefits.”
– “Auchincloss, Hall clash in only TV debate for Kennedy’s US House seat,” by Tim White and Ted Nesi, WPRI: “Democrat Jake Auchincloss and Republican Julie Hall met Friday for their only televised debate in the race to succeed Congressman Joe Kennedy representing a swath of Southeastern Massachusetts on Capitol Hill. The 4th Congressional District — which stretches from northern Fall River through the Attleboros and Taunton up to Newton and Brookline — has been represented by Kennedy since 2012..”
– “Lawsuit Asks DOC To Release More Prisoners Amid COVID Spikes,” by Deborah Becker, WBUR: “Because of the spike in coronavirus cases in Massachusetts, advocates have filed an emergency petition asking the courts to force the state Department of Correction to release more prisoners on home confinement. Advocates say the DOC is ignoring a court ruling to consider home confinement during the pandemic and ask why COVID testing of correctional staff is not mandatory.”
– “Hearing in Nangle case delayed again,” by Robert Mills, The Lowell Sun: “A final status hearing for state Rep. David Nangle, indicted on dozens of charges including wire fraud, bank fraud and filing false tax returns, has been delayed yet again as both sides of the case sort through complex discovery materials, according to online federal court records. Nangle, who has held the 17th Middlesex District seat for 22 years, will no longer be in government at the end of the year, when his term expires.”
– “Biden may keep Warren, Sanders out of Cabinet,” by Hans Nichols, Axios: “Joe Biden’s team is considering an informal ban on naming Democratic U.S. senators to the Cabinet if he wins — which would effectively block Elizabeth Warren for Treasury or Bernie Sanders for Labor — people familiar with the discussions tell Axios.”
– Rep. Ayanna Pressley discusses the Nov. 3 election with CNN’s Don Lemon: “We still find ourselves in the Civil Rights movement, and right now we have the opportunity to write the next chapter in our civil rights history. You know, what were fire hoses and dogs are today, as what happened in my district, arson at drop boxes, are voter suppression and intimidation with long lines. So it is just more of the same but it is also why we must be more emboldened than ever before, when our democracy, our livelihood, and our very lives, are all on the ballot. But it is infuriating.” Link.
– Secretary of State Bill Galvin on whether voting by mail is here to stay in Massachusetts on WCVB’s “On the Record” over the weekend: “We’re gonna have to assess everything after this election and see what we’ve learned, just like we did after the primary. We had a very successful experience in the primary, not just with the drop boxes, but with the whole episode of voting and vote by mail. Yet after the primary we had a convened a various series of conferences amongst our local election officials, and we exchanged best practices we talked about things that went badly things that went better and things that went best.” Link.
– “Kevin O’Connor makes final push against Ed Markey,” by Lisa Kashinsky, Boston Herald: “U.S. Sen. Edward Markey is proving to be a hot commodity on the campaign trail this fall, stumping for Joe Biden, pushing ranked-choice voting and lending his campaign’s might to Democrats nationwide who are looking to capture the magic that catapulted him to victory over a Kennedy. But the battle to keep his Senate seat isn’t over just yet.”
– “Trump Won’t Win Boston — But He Might Win This Neighborhood,” by Adam Reilly, GBH News: “It’s unlikely Donald Trump will win Massachusetts this week, and even more unlikely likely he’ll win Boston, where Hillary Clinton got 81 percent of the vote in 2016. But in one small pocket of the city, the odds of a Trump victory are actually pretty good.”
– “How ‘Blue Lives Matter’ trend has emerged as the identity politics of the right,” by Milton J. Valencia, Boston Globe: “This election season, campaign stumps and so-called ‘Back the Blue’ rallies in support of police are one in the same, drawing boisterous crowds to town greens across Massachusetts and Trump campaign stops nationwide. Amid a historic reckoning over law enforcement in America, few subjects are as polarizing, the supposed stakes laid out in small-town rallies and presidential debates.”
– “Talk radio station frequency hijacked by Trump message in Warren,” by Kim Ring, Telegram & Gazette: “As the hosts talk about sports on WEEI-FM 105.5, their signal fades, breaks up and a bit of static overrides their voices when drivers reach downtown Warren. Then, another voice slips in, ‘Don’t be a chump, vote for Trump.’ There is a pause before it repeats in a whisper, ‘Don’t be a chump, vote for Trump.’”
– “In battleground New England, anxiety and apprehension ahead of Election Day,” by Victoria McGrane, Matt Stout and Brian MacQuarrie, Boston Globe: “National polls show former vice president Joe Biden leading President Trump by as much as 11 points. The Democratic standard-bearer is ahead in crucial swing states like Wisconsin and Arizona. Signs abound that voters who didn’t show up four years ago are turning out in droves to vote blue. None of it can dull the anxiety squeezing the hearts of Democratic voters.”
– “Affordable housing upgrades and construction could take 15 years to finish without Clark’s bill,” by Sue Reinert, Cambridge Day: “The Cambridge Housing Authority says it faces a delay as long as 15 years in some of its remaining public housing modernization projects as well as in plans to build new affordable housing, unless Congress approves a proposal to remove limits on a key element in its financing strategy. U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark, one of the bill’s sponsors, launched a campaign to approve the legislation on Oct. 6 at CHA’s Corcoran Park public housing development.”
– “Clark Raises, Donates $4.5 Million To Defend And Expand Democratic House Majority,” from Clark’s office: “Congresswoman Katherine Clark, Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, announced that she has raised and contributed $4.5 million to support the Democrats’ effort to maintain and grow the House Majority. Her $4.5 million fundraising haul has assisted 166 House incumbents and candidates and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).”
— Herald: “FINAL COUNTDOWN,” — Globe: “A day of fierce, fervent appeals,” “Trump defiant in plea to base; Biden courts Black voters,” “Latino voters turn potential into power,” “At colleges, ballots getting boost.”
– “Watchdog group alleges campaign finance violations in 1st Congressional District race,” by Dusty Christensen, Daily Hampshire Gazette: “A local company is one of two that have been accused of illegal campaign contributions to a political action committee, or PAC, that spent $1 million on ads attacking Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse ahead of the Democratic primary in the 1st Congressional District.”
– “Berkshire law enforcement ready for any election-related flare-ups,” by Scott Stafford, The Berkshire Eagle: “Days before a hotly contested election, law enforcement officials in the Berkshires and across the state are on the alert for any signs of disruption at the polls Tuesday. Berkshire District Attorney Andrea Harrington on Friday said her office is working with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, local law enforcement and local elections officials to ensure a safe and orderly Election Day.”
– “Trump rally draws counterprotest in Northampton,” by Jacquelyn Voghel, Daily Hampshire Gazette: “Hundreds of protesters, some in support of President Donald Trump and others who took to the streets in counterprotest, lined the sidewalks of downtown Northampton on Sunday afternoon in advance of Tuesday’s presidential election.”
– “Cases of COVID-19 linked to Fitchburg church grow to nearly 150; 40 cases tied to hockey, according to city,” by John Hilliard, Boston Globe: “The number of COVID-19 cases linked to a Fitchburg church has grown to nearly 150 after officials reported more than two dozen cases tied to the church last weekend, according to the city’s public health director. The city is also facing more than 40 confirmed cases tied to local hockey programs, according to Stephen D. Curry, Fitchburg’s director of public health.”
– “Clerks expect swarms of people at polls,” by Breanna Edelstein, Eagle-Tribune: “Red or blue, left or right, it may be too soon to declare which way voters will lean, but one thing is certain –– municipalities are preparing to process a historic number of ballots. In Massachusetts, that can be attributed to the many opportunities available to Bay Staters –– early voting, a mail-in option, absentee ballots and traditional means.”
– “Worcester area lawmakers opine on ballot questions,” by Haley Lerner, Telegram & Gazette: “Massachusetts voters have more to consider than just the presidential election when they head to the polls on Nov. 3. Two ballot questions require them to make their mind up on the right to repair and ranked-choice voting. … Sen. Michael Moore, D-Millbury, said he has already voted by mail and against Question 1. He said he is concerned the measure would allow car repair shops access to sensitive information they shouldn’t have.”
TRANSITIONS – Former First Lady Diane Patrick and Angela Liu join WBUR’s Community Advisory Board, and Carmen Arce-Bowen and Neela Pal join WBUR’s Board of Directors.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY – to Amy Finkelstein.
NEW EPISODE: END TIMES INSIGHT – On this week’s Horse Race podcast, hosts Steve Koczela and Stephanie Murray discuss ranked choice voting and a new Massachusetts poll, and the Boston Globe’s Victoria McGrane breaks down the fight for the Senate. Subscribe and listen on iTunes and Sound Cloud.
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