CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – 22News is working for you with full coverage across western Massachusetts, and in Boston, of all of the primary elections.
The Democratic candidates on the ballot for governor are Attorney General Martha Coakley, State Treasurer Steve Grossman, and former health care administrator, Don Berwick.
22News went to a few polling places Tuesday afternoon, and got the sense that for many voters in western Mass. are split on the race.
Don Berwick, the true underdog in this race, is gaining a lot of late support, including from Springfield residents like Joan O’Brien. “Berwick, I watched the debate and liked everything he had to say,” she said.
At the 22News Democratic Gubernatorial debate, Berwick was asked if he thought he could win, he said yes and he was the only one that hadn’t lost.
Grossman ran for Governor in 2002 and lost in the primary to Shannon O’Brien, and Coakley ran for Senate in 2010 and lost to Scott Brown.
Whoever wins the democratic nomination will be opposed by three independent candidates, Scott Lively, Jeff McCormick and Evan Falchuk, as well as the republican nominee, which will also be decided on tonight.
Tea Party Republican Mark Fisher is going up against clear frontrunner Charlie Baker in the Republican primaries for Governor today.
This isn’t Charlie Baker’s first time running; he ran against Governor Deval Patrick back in 20-10 but lost by 6 points. With more campaigning experience this time around, Baker is hoping for a different outcome.
Now, polls show that Martha Coakley has the lead in the Democratic primary for Governor. A poll by Mass-INC during the Governor’s race in 20 -10 shows Baker lost the women’s vote by 24-points.
Jameson Barber of Brighton said, “Everybody has their, everything that they plan on bringing into the community policy wise. He will be a great guy and he will be a challenge for Martha, but I think she will be able to pull out the victory.”
In the Hampden District Attorney race, there are four Democratic candidates who hope to win the nomination tonight.
Whoever wins the race tonight will most likely become the next Hampden District Attorney. There are no Republican or Independent candidates at this time. That means the winner tonight will run unopposed in November.
Here in Springfield, more than 350 voters in Ward 1, Precincts A and B, have voted so far. These voters are choosing one candidate out of four Democrats in the DA’s race.
Attorney Shawn Allyn, former prosecutor Hal Etkin, Assistant District Attorney Anthony Gulluni and former prosecutor Brett Vottero hope to take Mark Mastroianni’s former job title. Mastorianni resigned to become a U.S. District Court judge.
Voters told 22News it is crucial to cast their ballots, especially when there are no opposing party candidates. Anna Sanoguel of Springfield said, “I would call people and say, yes you have to vote. You have to show. You have to be there.” Mike Rivas of Springfield said, “If you don’t come out and vote, then your candidate, you know is not going to win. That’s the bottom line.”
Whoever wins tonight will most likely be the only name on the ballot come November. The same applies to Cheryl Coakley Rivera’s House seat here in Springfield. Voters here in the tenth Hampden District will choose one candidate out of three – the Latino Chamber of Commerce President Carlos Gonzalez, Springfield City Councilor Melvin Edwards and social worker Ivette Hernandez.
Today will allow voters to decide which candidates they want to advance to the November General election. In Holyoke, there is a race for the second Hampden / Hampshire District Senate Seat.
On Appleton Street in Holyoke in front of St. Paul Church, people were voting. This is a race between Chris Hopewell and Patrick Leahy; both Democrats. Whoever wins will be on the general election ballot in November against Incumbent Republican State Senator Don Humason.
Leahy is 36 years old. He’s from Holyoke, where he serves as a police officer. He’s also a real estate agent. Hopewell is 55, he’s also from Holyoke. He’s an army Veteran and serves as the coordinator of Emergency Medical Services at Cooley Dickinson Hospital.
On September 2nd, both candidates took part in a live debate of 22News. They sparred over issues like healthcare spending, the Kinder-Morgan pipeline and the Quinn bill.
22News asked people what issues are important to them. John Lecca of Holyoke said, “I think the welfare system in the state has to be overhauled. People living in hotels, stuff like that. EBT cards that are being thrown around at the taxpayer’s expense. So there needs to be come changes here.”
Then in Longmeadow, at the Longmeadow Community Center, all five precincts vote. Since around 3, there has been a steady flow of voters. Traditionally, primary elections don’t have a large turnout. 22News spoke with a polling volunteer and she said at 3 this afternoon, a little more than 16-hundred people had voted.
There are 11,300 registered voters for the primary in Longmeadow. While that’s only about 15 percent of voters, volunteers said that’s already a better turnout from previous years.
22News asked one longtime voter what he thought. Daniel Friedenson said, “I really can’t tell. It doesn’t look too crowded, but I hope it’s been very active. There are a lot of important issues and it’s important we get representatives who are active for us regarding those issues.”
Many people said they have a specific interest in this year’s primary because multiple candidates on the ballot are from Longmeadow. They said one big reason they came to vote was the Massachusetts Senate 1st Hampden and Hampshire County race.
There are five democrats on the ballot, 2 of which are from Longmeadow.
The polls close at 8PM. 22News will have a full coverage on WWLP.com and a recap of today’s election on 22News at 11PM.