Velis wins rematch to keep Senate seat


Staff Writer
Published: 11/3/2020 11:44:36 PM

HOLYOKE — Incumbent Democratic state Sen. John Velis defeated Republican challenger and Southwick businessman John Cain in a rematch for the 2nd Hampden and Hampshire District on Tuesday.

Although votes were still trickling in Tuesday night, unofficial results show that Velis, D-Westfield, beat Cain handily in Easthampton, Holyoke and Westfield. In Holyoke, Velis garnered 11,073 votes compared to Cain’s 4,073. In Westfield, Velis received 12,962 votes compared to Cain’s 6,753, and in Easthampton, Velis had 7,795 votes to 2,250 votes for Cain, according to unofficial results. 

Velis, D-Westfield, said late Tuesday night that he was “humbled” by his win and that his campaign had a “really, really strong showing tonight.”

“Since May 27 when I was sworn in, I focused on one thing and one thing only — doing the job,” Velis said. “And I had great faith that the people of the 2nd Hampden and Hampshire District would recognize the hard work that we put in.”

”We’re getting a lot of the unofficial results,but based on the numbers that I’ve seen, it seems like the people of the district responded in a resounding fashion,” he said.

The two candidates had previously faced off in a special state Senate election in May of this year to fill the seat, which had previously been held by Donald Humason, R-Westfield, until his election as mayor of Westfield. In that election, Velis defeated Cain with 64% of the vote.

Cain did not respond to a voicemail and text message left on his cell phone Tuesday night.

5th Hampden District

Voters on Tuesday also chose Democrat Patricia Duffy to be Holyoke’s next representative in the state Legislature.

Duffy — who did not have a Republican challenger in Tuesday’s race — received 12,582 votes, according to unofficial Holyoke election results.

Duffy — who has served as the legislative aide to the seat’s current incumbent, Aaron Vega — had defeated five-term Ward 3 City Councilor David Bartley and Patrick Beaudry, the manager of public affairs for the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, in the Democratic primary on Sept. 1.

Michael Connors can be reached at

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