In-depth news coverage of the Greater Boston Area.

Pressley Beats Capuano While Other Incumbents Survive Primary

Voters in Massachusetts chose between incumbents and fresh faces in Tuesday's primary, where several members of the state's all-Democratic U.S. House delegation faced spirited challenges.

The ballot also featured races for governor and a Republican contest for the U.S. Senate. Click here for complete coverage of the Massachusetts primary and nationwide midterm campaigns.

Perhaps the most closely watched contest pitted longtime incumbent U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano against Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley in the state's only congressional district where minorities comprise a majority of the population. Pressley defeated Capuano, telling her supporters "it seems like change is on the way."

Another veteran congressman, Democratic Rep. Richard Neal, won a spirited primary showdown with Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, a black attorney from Springfield who had hoped to become the first Muslim to serve in Congress from Massachusetts. Neal, the dean of the state's House delegation, first was elected in 1989. 

Three other Democratic incumbents — Reps. Stephen Lynch, William Keating and Joe Kennedy — also faced primary opponents Tuesday. All three were victorious, but that's a stark difference from just two years ago, when not a single Democratic incumbent was challenged in the primaries.

Another Democrat, U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas, is retiring at the end of this term and the open seat has touched off a political scramble with 10 candidates on the Democratic primary ballot. That race was still too close to call late Tuesday night.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, a moderate who has been popular with voters in what is perceived as one of the nation's bluest states, overcame a primary challenge from Scott Lively, a conservative minister from Springfield.

Democrat Jay Gonzalez defeated Robert Massie in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. Both have contended that Baker's support among voters is soft and that his administration has failed to make significant strides in many areas, particularly the problems plaguing the Boston-area transit system known as the "T."

Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren sailed through unopposed in the Democratic primary, but three Republicans competed for the nod to face her in November.

State Rep. Geoff Diehl, who was the co-chair of Trump's Massachusetts campaign, defeated John Kingston, a businessman who once tried to fund a third-party challenge to Trump but has become more supportive of the president, and Beth Lindstrom, who served in former Republican Gov. Mitt Romney's administration.

"I'm honored to be the Democratic nominee for the Massachusetts Senate seat this November," Warren tweeted after the polls closed Tuesday night. "This campaign has never been just about me — it's been about all of us fighting to level the playing field for working people. I will fight my heart out, and I hope you will too."

With the primary falling on the day after Labor Day, just as many voters returned from summer vacations and the new school year was starting, turnout was modest.

Democratic Secretary of State William Galvin said he had little choice because other possible primary dates conflicted with religious holidays or posed other obstacles.

Galvin himself faced a primary challenge Tuesday from Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim. Galvin was declared the winner.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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