Metro, Politics

Democrats Sweep Massachusetts Midterm Elections

Following a number of tight races and Ayanna Pressley’s historic win over 10-term incumbent Michael Capuano, BC Law ’77, in the September primary elections, the Nov. 6 midterm elections went exactly as anticipated for Massachusetts. Lacking any upsets—or even close calls—the general elections in the Bay State featured no surprises.

In the race for U.S. Senate, Democratic incumbent Elizabeth Warren easily triumphed over GOP candidate Geoff Diehl. Warren, a likely contender to challenge President Donald Trump in the 2020 elections, spent the year contributing to key campaigns across the country in addition to building support in her home state. She raised or donated $8 million for fellow Democrats during the 2018 cycle and visited battleground states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Nevada, according to The Boston Globe.

“I promise I will never stop working my heart out for you. Never,” Warren said after declaring victory, according to The Boston Herald.

In the House, all nine seats went to Democrats, four of whom ran in uncontested districts, including Richard Neal in District 1, Joe Kennedy III in District 4, Pressley in District 7, and Stephen Lynch in District 8.

Widely popular Republican Governor Charlie Baker was elected to his second term, defeating Democratic challenger Jay Gonzalez with 67 percent of the votes with 82 percent of precincts reporting. Baker doubled the number of votes he received four years ago, according to The Boston Globe.

“Your honesty and pragmatism and common sense have kept us grounded and focused,” he said at his victory party Tuesday night, according to The Globe. “You kept us away from the partisan bickering, the personal attacks, the lost opportunities, and the overwhelming negativity that comes with that.”

Moving to ballot proposals, voters forcefully rejected Question 1, which would have created stricter nurse-to-patient ratios.

Supporters claimed that statewide staffing ratios are necessary for the safety of patients and welfare of nurses, but opponents countered that the proposal would increase costs by requiring the hiring more nurses, which could force smaller hospitals to close.

After polls closed, Donna Kelly-Williams, president of the Massachusetts Nurses Association, a union which backed the proposal, declared that the fight is far from over.

“All patients deserve a safe standard of nursing care, and this advocacy—this fight—won’t be over until we achieve the equity that all patients deserve,” she said at a rally at the union’s headquarters in Canton on Tuesday night.

Voters approved Question 2, a proposal that will create a citizens commission of 15 Massachusetts residents to study possible amendments to the U.S. Constitution for the purpose of restricting corporate political contributions and regulating campaign finance.

In the nation’s first-ever statewide referendum on transgender rights, Massachusetts voted to uphold Senate Bill 2407 through Question 3, a 2016 law barring discrimination based on gender identity in public places like bathrooms, hotels, restaurants, and retail stores.

Kasey Suffredini, a transgender attorney and president of strategy at Freedom for All Americans, a nonprofit that seeks to secure full nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people nationwide, served as a major leader of the campaign, and called the vote historic.

“We have shattered broken stereotypes of what it means to be transgender and debunked the myth, once and for all, that protecting transgender people compromises the safety of others,” she said in an official statement.

In Newton, voters rejected two measures related to the opening of recreational marijuana retail establishments: one to restrict the number allowed to open and one to ban the stores altogether. According to The Boston Globe, Newton is now required to open a minimum of eight shops before it can deny new stores.

Featured Image Courtesy of Associated Press

November 7, 2018

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