Metro, Politics, Newton

Newton Sees Highest Statewide Primary Turnout in Over a Decade

Newton residents cast 14,146 ballots in Tuesday’s statewide primary election—the most primary votes since 2006—according to the City of Newton’s website.

“We’ve learned to take our vote less for granted over the past few years,” Melyssa Plunkett-Gomez, a resident of Newton Centre, said in an interview outside the Church of the Redeemer, a Newton polling station in Ward 8.

The primary elections, held every four years, determine nominees for a slew of offices, from governor to governor’s council members.

The vast majority of candidates ran either unopposed or in uncompetitive races.

Two of the 19 races on the ballot came within 10 percentage points: lieutenant governor on the Republican side, and the race for the governor’s council seat for district 3 on the Democratic side. 

The Democratic nominees for the three highest statewide offices—governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general—are all women. Though most of the primary elections were uncompetitive, one voter opted to cast her vote in support of the women running for office. 

“I’m very thrilled that several women are running [for office],” Lois Eichler, a Newton resident said. “The idea that there’s going to be a woman governor of Massachusetts is very thrilling to me and is a very important reason why I’m out here tonight.”

Maura Healey, Kim Driscoll, and Andrea Campbell each won their elections by over 10 percentage points in the statewide tally, according to NBC Boston.

The other statewide Democratic nominees for secretary of state, auditor, and treasurer are William Galvin, Diana DiZoglio, and Deborah Goldberg, respectively. 

Geoff Diehl won the Republican nomination for governor, Leah Cole Allen for lieutenant governor, James McMahon for attorney general, Rayla Campbell for secretary of state, and Anthony Amore for auditor. 

Looking ahead to January, when new members of the commonwealth’s executive branch will take office, Newton voters shared what issues they would like the new officials to focus on. Plunkett-Gomez said that infrastructure and public transportation were two of her priorities when she cast her vote. 

Another topic of concern is the allocation of government funding across the Boston area, according to Andres Gomez-Rivas, a Newton voter.

“When you hear about all the additional funds that are around, Beacon Hill and [the government] just hasn’t been able to appropriate it properly with all the infrastructure needs,” he said.

Eichler voiced similar concerns.

“Massachusetts has a big budget surplus, which I think the legislature was trying to figure out how to give [the surplus] back to the people, and they couldn’t get their act together,” she said. 

The general election is on Nov. 8. The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 29. More information is available on the City of Newton’s election site.  

September 11, 2022