Four contests on Hampshire County Democratic primary ballots

  • Hatfield Town Clerk Lydia Szych gets the room in Town Hall ready for Thursday’s primary election. GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Eileen Dostal, the Assistant Town Clerk and Lydia Szych, the Hatfield Town Clerk, gets the room in town hall ready for the election Thursday. —Gazette Staff/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Lydia Szych, the Hatfield Town Clerk, gets the room in town hall ready for the election Thursday. —Gazette Staff/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Eileen Dostal, the Assistant Town Clerk gets the room in town hall ready for the election Thursday. —Gazette Staff/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Eileen Dostal, the Assistant Town Clerk gets the room in town hall ready for the election Thursday. —Gazette Staff/CAROL LOLLIS

@amandadrane
Published: 9/7/2016 12:04:13 AM

Hampshire County voters will help decide four contests in Thursday’s Democratic primary, and Secretary of State William F. Galvin believes that means turnout here will be higher than elsewhere in Massachusetts.

Galvin said Tuesday that Democratic ballots in Hampshire County include some of the most contested races in the state, notably for sheriff, the 3rd Hampshire District state representative and the 8th District governor’s councilor.

Galvin predicted that turnout in Hampshire County could reach 15 percent, whereas statewide he expects a turnout of 8 to 10 percent.

“For the most part it’s very quiet,” he said. “Turnout will be almost totally locally driven by local campaigns.”

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on this rare Thursday Election Day, which was scheduled to avoid being the day after Labor Day.

There are no contested Republican races in Hampshire County. Voters registered in a political party may select only that party’s ballot. Voters who are unenrolled may choose a Democratic, Republican, Green-Rainbow or United Independent ballot.

Sheriff

A three-way race for sheriff is on the Democratic ballot in all Hampshire County communities. The candidates are Patrick Cahillane of Northampton, Kavern Lewis of Amherst and Melissa Perry of Northampton.

The winner will square off against Republican David Isakson, of South Hadley, in the Nov. 8 election.

Cahillane, assistant superintendent and special sheriff, touts his three decades of experience working at the Hampshire County Jail and House of Correction.

Lewis, an Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools substitute teacher, has emphasized educating youths. He describes his qualifications as “10 combined years experience in corrections, security and policing.” However, an examination by the Gazette of Lewis’ background found that the agencies where he claimed to have worked as an officer showed no record of his employment or described his tenure as brief.

Perry, a registered nurse and director of behavioral health nursing at Holyoke Medical Center, said her time spent managing about 100 staffers combined with her “excellent” interpersonal and leadership skills have prepared her for the role of sheriff.

3rd Hampshire District

Residents of Amherst, Pelham and Precinct 1 of Granby will vote in the six-way Democratic race for 3rd Hampshire District representative. The candidates are Vira Douangmany Cage, member of the Amherst School Committee, former organize for the ACLU of Western Massachusetts and member of the state Asian American Commission; Solomon Goldstein-Rose, a former member of the Amherst School Committee and recent Brown University graduate; Sarah la Cour, executive director of the Amherst Business Improvement District; Bonnie MacCracken, a professional property title examiner and member of Amherst Town Meeting and the Democratic State Committee; Eric Nakajima, former executive director of the Massachusetts Broadband Institute; and Lawrence O’Brien, a former member of both the Massachusetts Teachers Association board and the Amherst School Committee and a social studies teacher at Belchertown High School.

There is no Republican candidate for 3rd Hampshire District representative. Current Rep. Ellen Story, D-Amherst, is retiring.

Senate seat

Voters in Chesterfield, Cummington, Goshen, Huntington, Middlefield, Plainfield, Westhampton, Williamsburg, and Worthington will help nominate one of three Democrats running for state senate in the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden District. Current Sen. Benjamin Downing, D-Pittsfield, is not seeking re-election.

The three candidates are Rinaldo Del Gallo of Lenox, Andrea Harrington of Richmond and Adam Hinds of Pittsfield. The winner will face Republican Christine Canning of Lanesborough on Nov. 8.

Del Gallo has a law office in Pittsfield and calls himself the “Bernie Sanders candidate” who favors decriminalizing marijuana. He serves as the spokesman for the Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition and points to his success in pushing for an animal rights ordinance in Pittsfield.

Harrington, a Pittsfield attorney and small business owner, is active on community boards including the Affordable Housing Committee in Richmond and the Railroad Street Youth Project, an organization devoted to expanding educational opportunities for young people in Berkshire County.

Hinds has 10 years of experience working for the United Nations on negotiations in the Middle East, serves as the director of the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition and directed Pittsfield’s gang-prevention program.

All incumbent legislators representing Hampshire County who are seeking re-election do not face opposition in the primaries.

And Democratic Congressmen Richard E. Neal, of Springfield, who represents the 1st District, and James P. McGovern, of Worcester, in the 2nd District, are unopposed in their re-election bids.

Governor’s council

All Hampshire County voters, except those in Ware, will choose between former Springfield mayor and retired district court judge Mary Hurley and Jeffrey Morneau, president of the Hampden County Bar Association, in the Democratic contest for 8th District Governor’s Council. The winner will appear uncontested on the Nov. 8 ballot, as there is no Republican candidate.

The district also includes Berkshire and Franklin counties and some communities in Hampden and Worcester counties.

Recorder staff writer Richie Davis contributed reporting.




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