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Tuesday’s primary to change faces of county’s representation



Staff Writer
Monday, September 03, 2018

NORTHAMPTON — For nearly two decades, Hampshire County’s delegation on Beacon Hill remained largely unchanged. Now, with two retirements, a resignation and a death, most of the delegation is turning over, and many newcomers set to replace them after Tuesday’s primary election.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and all absentee ballots must be received by election officials by the close of polling hours.

The 1st Hampshire District features a Democratic primary contest between Northampton translator and women’s rights advocate Lindsay Sabadosa, and Diana Szynal of Hatfield, the longtime district director for the late state Rep. Peter Kocot, D-Northampton. The seat became vacant in February following Kocot’s death from cancer. The 1st Hampshire District consists of Northampton, Southampton, Westhampton and Hatfield in Hampshire County and Montgomery in Hampden County.

In the 2nd Hampshire District, Easthampton City Councilor Daniel Carey, former Granby School Committee member Marie McCourt and former South Hadley Select Board member John Hine are vying to replace longtime state Rep. John Scibak, D-South Hadley, who is retiring at the end of his term. A Republican, Donald Peltier of South Hadley, is also running for the seat. The 2nd Hampshire District covers Easthampton, South Hadley, Hadley and Precinct 2 in Granby.

The 3rd Hampshire District features a contest between Amherst Survival Center Executive Director Mindy Domb and Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee Chairman Eric Nakajima. The seat is currently held by state Rep. Solomon Goldstein-Rose, who is unenrolled and from Amherst. Goldstein-Rose left the Democratic Party earlier this year before deciding not to seek re-election. The 3rd Hampshire District covers Amherst, Pelham and Precinct 1 of Granby.

The 1st Franklin District in the Massachusetts House of Representatives is seeing the retirement of another longtime legislator, state Rep. Stephen Kulik, D-Worthington, who has served for more than two decades in the House. Seven candidates are running in the Democratic primary to replace him: Natalie Blais of Sunderland, Kate Albright-Hanna of Huntington, Christine Doktor of Cummington, Jonathan Edwards of Whately, Casey Pease of Worthington, Nathaniel Waring of Sunderland and Francia Wisnewski of Montague.

The 1st Franklin District covers 19 communities, including Chesterfield, Cummington, Goshen, Huntington, Middlefield, Plainfield, Williamsburg and Worthington in Hampshire County.

The Hampshire, Franklin and Worcester District in the Senate was left vacant after the resignation of longtime state Sen. Stanley Rosenberg, D-Amherst. Rosenberg resigned following a Senate Ethics Committee report that found he failed to protect the Senate from the behavior of his husband, Bryon Hefner. Hefner is set to stand trial on a number of criminal charges, including sexual assault.

Four candidates from Northampton are seeking to replace Rosenberg. They are Chelsea Kline, an educator and women’s rights advocate, Ryan O’Donnell, president of Northampton’s City Council, Steven Connor, director of Central Hampshire Veterans’ Services and Jo Comerford, former MoveOn.org campaign director. Kline is the only candidate who’s name is on the ballot. O’Donnell, Connor and Comerford are write-in candidates.

The Hampshire, Franklin and Worcester District covers 24 communities, including Northampton, Amherst, Hadley, Hatfield, Pelham and South Hadley in Hampshire County.

Two other Democratic Party incumbents with territory in Hampshire County are also facing challengers.

In the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden District, first-term state Sen. Adam Hinds, D-Pittsfield, is facing a challenge from Lee Selectman Thomas Wickham. The district includes the Hampshire County towns of Chesterfield, Cummington, Goshen, Huntington, Middlefield, Plainfield, Westhampton, Williamsburg and Worthington.

In the 1st Congressional District, longtime incumbent Richard Neal, D-Springfield, is being challenged by Springfield attorney Tahirah Amatul-Wadud. The district includes the Hampshire County communities of Chesterfield, Cummington, Easthampton, Goshen, Granby, Huntington, Middlefield, Plainfield, South Hadley, Southampton, Westhampton, Williamsburg and Worthington.

The Democratic Party primary will also feature a contest between Jay Gonzalez and Bob Massie for governor, as well as a contest between Quentin Palfrey and Jimmy Tingle for lieutenant governor. Incumbent Secretary of State William Galvin is also being challenged by Cambridge attorney Josh Zakim in the primary.

In the Republican primary, Gov. Charlie Baker is facing a challenge from Springfield pastor Scott Lively, while Geoff Diehl, John Kingston and Beth Joyce Lindstrom are all vying to take on Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren in November. James McMahon and Daniel Shores, meanwhile, are competing to challenge incumbent Attorney General Maura Healey, a Democrat in the Nov. 6 election.

In the 2nd Congressional District, Tracy Lyn Lovvorn and Kevin William Powers are competing for the Republican nomination to challenge incumbent U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Worcester.

In addition to the primaries, there are also town elections that will be held in two communities on Sept. 4. In Amherst, there is a preliminary election for its newly created Town Council. In Southampton, a Select Board election between Charles Kaniecki and Matt Roland will be held after both men received the same number of votes in a town election earlier this year.

For more information on candidates, check out the Gazette’s voter guide​​​​​​​ at www.gazettenet.com/SpecialPages/Election-2018-Voters-Guide.

Bera Dunau can be reached at bdunau@gazettenet.com.