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Election guide: Who’s on the ballot?

Yawu Miller
Yawu Miller is the former senior editor of the Bay State Banner. He has written for the Banner since 1988.... VIEW BIO

Boston voters’ ballots will have an array of choices, thanks to a state election year with contested races for governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general and auditor.

Because Massachusetts is a predominantly Democratic state, most competitive races will be settled in the Sept. 6 primary. Yet primaries in Massachusetts tend to draw out fewer voters than the final elections.

Statewide races

State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz pulled the plug on her gubernatorial campaign in June, telling reporters she does not see a path to victory, leaving Attorney General Maura Healey the sole Democrat in the race for governor. Polling has placed Healey comfortably ahead of the Republicans in the race — former 7th Plymouth District state Rep. Geoff Diehl and Wrentham businessman Chris Doughty. Unenrolled candidates who will appear in the Nov. 8 general election are right-wing firebrand Diana Ploss, an Independent, and Libertarian Kevin Reed.

Running for lieutenant governor on the Democratic ballot are Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, state Rep. Tami Gouveia and state Sen. Eric Lesser. Republican candidates for that office are former state representatives Kate Campanale and Leah Cole Allen.

In the race for secretary of state, corporate attorney and Boston Branch NAACP President Tanisha Sullivan is taking on 28-year-incumbent William Galvin. Sullivan is running on a platform of expanding voting rights and making government more transparent and accessible.

Former Boston City Council President Andrea Campbell has consistently polled ahead of the competition in the race for the attorney general seat soon to be vacated by Healey. Campbell is running against labor attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan and former U.S. Department of Commerce General Counsel Quentin Palfrey. The winner in the Democratic primary will face off against Rayla Campbell, a Trump supporter.

Running for state auditor are Democrats Chris Dempsey, former executive director of the Transportation for Massachusetts coalition and a former Mass Department of Transportation official under the Deval Patrick administration, and state Sen. Diana DiZoglio. The winner of the Sept. 6 primary will face off against Republican Anthony Amore, an author and security expert.

Boston races

In Boston, the chain reaction set by a race for an open governor’s seat has produced several hotly contested races. The bid last year by 2nd Suffolk District incumbent Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz for the governor’s seat set off a chain reaction of down-ballot vacancies.

2nd Suffolk District

Running for Chang-Diaz’ 2nd Suffolk District seat are state Reps. Nika Elugardo and Liz Miranda; former HUD regional counsel Miniard Culpepper; former 2nd Suffolk Sen. Dianne Wilkerson; and James Grant, a church deacon making his first run for office. The four-way race has claimed much of the campaign oxygen, with staff, volunteers and consultants working on behalf of the candidates. Culpepper, Elugardo and Miranda have each raised more than $120,000, claiming the lion’s share of campaign cash in the city. No other non-incumbent candidates in Boston have raised more than $35,000.

15th Suffolk

After Elugardo announced her candidacy for the 2nd Suffolk Senate seat last December, four candidates emerged in the race for her House district, which includes most of Jamaica Plain and Mission Hill. Former Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation organizer Samantha Montano, former director of Youth Homelessness Initiatives for the City of Boston Roxanne Longoria, Northeastern University grad student Richard Fierro and environmental attorney MaryAnn Nelson are all knocking doors in the district.

5th Suffolk

Liz Miranda was the first to announce for the 2nd Suffolk District race in November, leaving vacant her Dorchester-based House seat (which now includes precincts in Roxbury). Vying for that 5th Suffolk seat are Christopher Worrell, director of diversity, equity and inclusion at the Boston Planning and Development Agency; Danielson Tavares, chief diversity officer for the city of Boston; and former one-term state Rep. Althea Garrison, who also completed the last year of at-large City Councilor Ayanna Pressley’s seat after Pressley was elected to Congress. The Rev. Roy Owens is running a long-shot write-in campaign for the seat as well.

6th Suffolk

Five-term incumbent Russell Holmes is facing clothier Haris Hardaway, who is making his first run for elected office. Hardaway reported $2,085 raised as of the June 30 reporting date for campaign contributions. Holmes reported $53,655 in his campaign account at the July 31 reporting date.

2022 primary election