BOSTON (WWLP) – While most of western Massachusetts’ local legislators will be going back to Boston next year without any challenge, some area lawmakers are facing some opposition.
In the House of Representatives, three seats are up for grabs this year:
- In the 9th Hampden District, which is located mostly in Springfield but includes one precinct in Chicopee, unenrolled candidate Robert Underwood is challenging first-term incumbent Democrat Jose Tosado.
- In the Pittsfield-based 3rd Hampshire District, Democrat Tricia Farley-Bouvier is after a third full term in the House. She is being challenged by Ward 4 City Councilor Christopher Connell, who is running as an independent.
- We are seeing a rematch in the 3rd Hampden District, where Southwick Republican Nick Boldyga is running for a fourth term. In 2010, Boldyga unseated Democrat Rosemary Sandlin. Sandlin made it on the ballot this year through a successful write-in campaign. The district covers Agawam, Granville, and Southwick.
In the Senate, all but one local seat is contested:
- In the Second Hampden and Hampshire District, Westfield Republican Sen. Don Humason is running against law student J.D. Parker O’Grady of Southampton. That district covers several communities in western Hampden and south-central Hampshire County, among them: Westfield, Holyoke, Easthampton, Agawam, and portions of Chicopee.
- Voters in the First Hampden and Hampshire District are considering whether to send Longmeadow Democrat Eric Lesser back to the Senate for his second term. His challenger is Ludlow Republican James “Chip” Harrington. The district includes a portion of Springfield, as well as more than half of Chicopee and most of Springfield’s southern and eastern suburbs.
- Pittsfield Democrat Ben Downing is not running for re-election to his seat in the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin, and Hampden District. Democrat Adam Hinds of Pittsfield and Republican Christine Canning of Lanesborough are running for the seat, which includes communities in all four western Massachusetts counties.
- Senate President Stanley Rosenberg is being challenged by South Hadley Republican Donald Peltier in the Hampshire, Franklin, and Worcester District, which includes central and northeastern Hampshire County, central and eastern Franklin County, and the town of Royalston in Worcester County.
- First-term Senator Anne Gobi, a Democrat from Spencer, is being challenged by Republican James Ehrhard, a Sturbridge attorney, for her re-election in the Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire, and Middlesex District. The seat includes most of western Worcester County, the town of Ashby in Middlesex County, and Palmer, Ware, Monson, Brimfield, Holland, and Wales in western Massachusetts.
The only western Massachusetts state senator who does not have a ballot opponent is West Springfield Democrat Jim Welch.