Happening Today

Post-election analysis and more

Municipal Finance Oversight Board meets to hear requests from Lynn, New Bedford, and the Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical School District, and to talk about ‘long-range municipal fiscal stability,’ 11 a.m.

Massachusetts Clean Water Trust Board meets via Zoom, 1:30 p.m..

— Suffolk University Political Research Center Director David Paleologos unpacks the results of Massachusetts primary elections and looks ahead toward the Nov. 3 general election in a webinar hosted by O’Neill and Associates, Seven Letter and the Boston Harbor Hotel, 4:30 p.m.

For the most comprehensive listing of calendar items, check out State House News Service’s Daily Advances (pay wall – free trial subscriptions available), as well as MassterList’s Beacon Hill Town Square below.

Today’s Stories

It’s Markey over Kennedy

At the start of the year, they said he couldn’t win. But he did win. U.S. Sen. Ed Markey yesterday defeated U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy in the U.S. Senate Democratic primary election in Massachusetts – and he did so rather easily in the end.

SHNS’s Matt Murphy and Colin A. Young (pay wall), the Globe’s Victoria McGrane and the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky and Sean Philip Cotter have the details on Markey’s once unthinkable triumph over a Kennedy in Massachusetts. The Washington Post has more on an election that’s attracted widespread national attention.

Markey is claiming victory on behalf of progressives and the young, as MassLive’s Benjamin Kail reports. Separately, from MassLive’s Douglas Hook: “’I would do this again in a heartbeat;’ Rep. Joe Kennedy III speaks to supporters after losing primary challenge to Sen. Ed Markey.”

In the end, Kennedy misjudged the electorate’s mood, underestimated Markey’s campaign prowess, overestimated the Kennedy mystique, and repeatedly bungled questions about why he was running in the first place.

Camelot, RIP

Members of the Kennedy clan have lost elections in the past. But never in Massachusetts. So you’re going to see a lot of stories in coming hours and days about the end of Camelot as a result of Joe Kennedy’s defeat by Ed Markey in yesterday’s Dem primary election in Massachusetts.

An early sampling of the headlines, first from the Globe’s Liz Goodwin: “A Kennedy loses in Massachusetts, dimming the sheen of a storied political dynasty.” From Universal Hub: “Camelot closes down; Kennedy calls Markey to concede. From the Herald’s Howie Carr: “Close the curtain, for good, on Camelot.” From CommonWealth’s Michael Jonas: “Veteran pol steamrolls challenger from state’s storied political family.” From the Herald’s front page: “Dynasty no more … Scramalot!” The NYT is also chiming in this morning.

And, as a special bonus, here’s Richard Burton singing ‘Camelot’ (YouTube). It’s actually pretty good. The second half of the video is more somberly appropriate, from a Kennedy family perspective.

Meanwhile, Richard Neal fends off Alex Morse

While progressives can lay claim to a victory with Ed Markey’s defeat of Joseph Kennedy in the U.S. Senate race, they suffered a setback when U.S. Rep. Richard Neal easily beat back an aggressive challenge from Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse, who was enthusiastically backed by various progressive groups and high-profile stars like U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. MassLive’s Jim Kinney and CommonWealth’s Shira Schoenberg have more on the much-watched Neal-Morse showdown. 

FYI: The NYT reports that Neal’s victory clearly “broke a string of progressive triumphs that have recently upended senior House Democrats from New York to Missouri.” Western Massachusetts Politics & Insight’s Matt Szafranski also has more on the “epic battle (mostly)” in the 413 zone.

It’s overtime in the 4th: Auchincloss, Mermell nearly deadlocked ahead of crowded field

Too close to call. As of early this morning, Jesse Mermell held a razor-thin lead–about 100 votes–over Jake Auchincloss in the 4th Congressional District, where a gaggle of Democrats vied for the right to follow Joe Kennedy III in Congress. Bruce Mohl atCommonWealth reports the camps of both candidates urged patience as it became clear it may be well into today before final tallies are available. 

One thing we know: The winner will face Julie Hall in November, after the former Attleboro city councilor won the GOP primary with 64 percent of the vote, Benjamin Kail at  MassLive reports. 

Challengers denied: Moulton and Lynch cruise to victory

In the end, the incumbents rolled. U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton fended off two primary challengers in the 6th Congressional District, earning more than 77 percent of the vote in the process, Erin Nolan and Dustin Lucaat the Eagle-Tribune report. 

Similar story in the 8th, where Rep. Stephen Lynch collected 67 percent of the vote in holding off primary foe Robbie Goldstein, Danny McDonald and Jaclyn Reiss at the Globe report. 

Pelosi vs AOC: It’s a draw

In case you’re keeping score, the proxy battle in Massachusetts between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, representing the Dem establishment, and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, representing the progressive left, ended in a sort of tie yesterday, with the AOC-backed Ed Markey winning in the U.S. Senate race but the Pelosi-backed Richard Neal winning in the First Congressional contest.

If you were to extend the analysis to other congressional races in which the two didn’t make competing endorsements, then you might say incumbents (see post immediately above) held back progressive insurgents, giving Pelosi a theoretical overall win for the day, though we’re sure Pelosi wouldn’t have minded Moulton getting bumped off in the 6th due to his past opposition to her speakership.

The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld isn’t looking at the primary from a moderate/progressive perspective per se. He says it was ultimately an “old geezers” night.

Legislative races: Incumbents Nangle and Welch defeated

The big news coming out of legislative primary races in Massachusetts were the defeats of two incumbents, Rep. David Nangle of Lowell and Sen. James Welch of West Springfield. Nangle’s loss to Lowell’s Vanna Howard wasn’t a shocker, considering Nangle has been indicted on two dozen federal fraud charges. But Welch’s defeat by Springfield City Councilor Adam Gomez was indeed somewhat of a surprise, if only because incumbents rarely lose these days. SHNS’s Katie Lannan and Chris Lisinski and CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl and Sarah Betancourthave more on the two races and other legislative contests. 

Also from the same abov SHNS story: “Brandy Fluker Oakley and Rob Consalvo prevailed in Democratic contests for a pair of Boston seats, now held by Reps. Dan Cullinane and Angelo Scaccia, respectively.” Universal Hub has moreon former city councilor Consalvo’s victory.

Other legislative headlines from around the state, first from the Eagle Tribune: “Moran wins fifth term for state rep.” …  From the Enterprise: “Brockton lawmaker DuBois defeats Democratic primary challenger Lally.” … Also from the Enterprise: “Brockton state Sen. Michael Brady wins re-election over City Councilor Moises Rodrigues” …  From the Lynn Item: “Giannino tops Gravellese in Rep. race.”  … From the Sun Chronicle: “Scanlon ekes out narrow victory in state rep race.”  … From MassLive: “Patricia Duffy wins Democratic primary in 5th Hampden district.” … From the Telegram: “Democrat Meghan Kilcoyne advances in bid to replace Rep. Naughton in 12th Worcester district.”   … From MetroWest Daily News: “Natick’s David Linsky dispatches Patel in 5th Middlesex Democratic primary.” 

Pandemic and mail-in voting chaos? Nope

There were some voting problems and confusion yesterday tied to the pandemic and vast expansion of mail-in voting in Massachusetts, as reported by CommonWealth’s Saran Betancourt, the Globe’s Tonya Alanez and Travis Andersen and the Herald’s Meghan Ottolini.

But it seems – at least based on preliminary media accounts – that those problems were somewhat minor and scattered. If anything, other media reports paint a picture of less-crowded polling stations yesterday due to increased mail-in voting (WBUR – Shannon Dooling) with pandemic safety measures “clearly being taken,” (WGBH – Edgar Herwick).

So the tentative bottom line, barring possible post-election horror stories from town clerks etc.: Success. Not that everything has gone right in other primary elections around the country (NYT).

It’s not just State Troopers: Nine Boston cops charge with OT abuses

Switching to non-election news, this is just in from the Globe’s John Ellement: “Nine current and former Boston police officers were arrested Wednesday for allegedly collecting more than $200,000 in fraudulent overtime payments while working in the department’s evidence warehouse, US Attorney Andrew Lelling’s office said.”

Boston Globe

Baker: Local officials requested National Guard backup

Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday finally explained why he briefly called up the National Guard over the weekend amid tense protests across the country tied to the latest police shooting of a Black man: “We heard from a number of municipal officials who asked us if we would have people available to support them if those events turned out to be bigger than what they would be able to manage on their own,” Baker said.

MassLive’s Steph Solis and SHNS’s Chris Lisinski (pay wall) have more.

‘ICE free to arrest immigrants in Massachusetts courthouses again’

Count on Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin to come up with a headline that perfectly sums up a story. From the actual UH post: “A federal appeals court today dismissed a preliminary injunction that had barred ICE agents from arresting immigrants appearing in Massachusetts court cases during a suit against the practice by district attorneys in Suffolk and Middlesex counties and several civil-rights groups.”

Universal Hub

Standoff over: Facing pressure from state, Andover teachers enter buildings

They’re in–reluctantly. Under pressure from the state and local school district, teachers in Andover agreed have agreed to enter school buildings “under duress,” ending a brief standoff that saw them gathering outside facilities to protest safety protocols, Genevieve DiNatale of the Eagle-Tribune reports.

Eagle Tribune

‘The nasty breakup’

The Globe’s Larry Edelman has the latest in the bitter feud between construction titan John Fish and developer Stephen Weiner, whose legal team has just fired off a 139-page rebuttal to Fish’s claims that Weiner backed out a Boston luxury project at the last minute.  

Boston Globe

Boston man charged with spray-painting swastikas outside JFK building

From the Herald’s Rick Sobey: “A 70-year-old man is accused of spray-painting swastikas on the JFK Federal Building in Boston, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said on Monday. Gerard Richard Lee, of Boston, was arrested on Friday and charged by criminal complaint with one count of injuring or depredating government property.”

Boston Herald

Stuck in the red? Framingham’s coronavirus numbers cause for concern

Jeannette Hinkle of the MetroWest Daily News reports the city of Framingham found itself designated a high-risk community for coronavirus last week and will likely stay in the red zone for a while based on recent infection numbers. 

Metro West Daily News

The coronavirus numbers: 4 new deaths, 8,831 total deaths, 354 new cases

Speaking of the pandemic, we normally run the latest coronavirus numbers at the top off the newsletter. But it got bumped due the primary election results. NBC Boston has the latest state data.

US Foreign Policy and Europe

Ambassador (Ret.) Nicholas Burns, Harvard professor of diplomacy and international relations; Robert Mauro, director of the Boston College Irish Institute and Global Leadership Institute; and Alexandra Vacroux, executive director of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University, discuss US foreign policy challenges and opportunities in Europe.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century, 1917-1956

Fredrik Logevall, Harvard University professor of history and international relations and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, discusses his forthcoming book JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century, 1917-1956 with George Packer, staff writer at The Atlantic.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Virtual 2020 Corporate Citizenship Awards

Join the Boston Business Journal for our annual Corporate Citizenship Awards.

Boston Business Journal

Priorities Primary Debrief: 2022 & The Future for Massachusetts Democrats

Please join us at 12pm on September 15 for a Priorities Primary Debrief: 2022 & The Future for Massachusetts Democrats. This event will feature a legislative primary overview, a look at some polling we’ve conducted on the 2022 gubernatorial election (campaigns are likely to start as early as November!), and a discussion of voter attitudes.

Priorities for Progress

Desk 88: Eight Progressive Senators Who Changed America

Senator Sherrod Brown discusses his new book, Desk 88: Eight Progressive Senators Who Changed America, which explores the careers of senators who have also sat at Desk 88 on the Senate floor, including Hugo Black, George McGovern, and Robert F. Kennedy. Senator Jeanne Shaheen moderates.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Today’s Headlines


Boston’s TD Garden will not be voting site as many NBA arenas convert into polling places – Boston Herald

Braintree high classes will be remote until Oct. 13 – Patriot Ledger


Fall River City Council rejects Coogan’s proposed $312 million budget – Herald News

Bourne superintendent in quarantine after possible virus exposure – Cape Cod Times

Framingham’s numbers suggest coronavirus red zone tag here to stay – MetroWest Daily News


Russians again pushing disinformation in US, Facebook and Twitter say – New York Times

Pelosi, Mnuchin talk stimulus but stalemate remains – The Hill

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