MA voters pick winners in key primary races

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perry21 MA voters pick winners in key primary races

Jeff Perry, Republican candidate for U.S. Congress, left, kisses his wife Lisa, right, after announcing victory during a watch party in Plymouth, Tuesday. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Massachusetts voters picked winners in a slew of key Beacon Hill and congressional primaries Tuesday, setting the stage for a six-week dash to the November general election.

The only statewide races were for the open auditor and treasurer seats. There were also contested primaries in eight of the state’s 10 congressional districts, dozens of legislative seats and several district attorney offices.

The most crowded of the statewide contests was the race for auditor.

MA Auditor

In the Democratic primary, former Patrick administration Labor Secretary Suzanne Bump outpolled Worcester County Sheriff Guy and Northeastern University official Mike Lake. Former Massachusetts Turnpike Authority board member Mary Connaughton bested businessman Kamal Jain for the Republican nod.

“Bring on the debates,” Connaughton said.

MA Treasurer

In the race for state treasurer, Steve Grossman, a former Democratic National Committee chairman and Newton businessman, defeated longtime Boston City Councilor Steve Murphy.

Grossman will face off against Republican Karyn Polito in the general election. Polito was unopposed in the GOP primary and quickly labeled Grossman a political insider “who has made a career out of defending higher taxes and more spending.

Grossman said he tapped into the concerns of voters.

“They want the next treasurer to reform the way we do business in the commonwealth,” Grossman said.

U.S. House – 1oth District

There were also a number of closely watched congressional primary contests, including the race to fill the state’s only open seat in Congress – the 10th Congressional District post currently held by Democratic Rep. William Delahunt, who is not seeking re-election.

Sandwich State Rep. Jeffrey Perry, who won the backing of both Republican Sen. Scott Brown and former Gov. Mitt Romney, defeated former state Treasurer Joseph Malone, Cohasset accountant Ray Kasperowicz and Department of Public Utilities attorney Robert Hayden for the GOP nomination.

“If you send Jeff Perry to Washington, you’re going to be sending a vote to repeal Obamacare,” Perry told supporters, describing himself as a “hardliner on illegal immigration.”

Perry will face Democratic Norfolk District Attorney William Keating in the general election. Keating bested state Sen. Robert O’Leary of Barnstable in the Democratic party.

U.S. House – 5th District

The GOP was also keeping a close eye on the 5th Congressional District seat held by Niki Tsongas. The Lowell Democrat is seen as vulnerable partly because the district is one of the state’s more conservative.

Four Republicans – Haverhill research analyst Sam Meas; Jon Golnik of Carlisle, who resells Boston College merchandise; Westford small business owner Tom Weaver; and former Andover math teacher Robert Shapiro – are trying to oust Tsongas.

U.S. House – 9th District

Rep. Stephen Lynch, the Democratic incumbent in the 9th Congressional District, fended off a party challenge from Mac D’Alessandro, who tried to make a central issue Lynch’s decision not to support the Obama administration’s health care overhaul. The message failed to dislodge Lynch in the conservative district.

Computer technician Vernon Harrison of Braintree held the lead over photojournalist Keith Lepor for the Republican nomination.

U.S. House – 4th District

In the 4th Congressional District, Rep. Barney Frank easily beat back a challenge from 29-year-old Rachel Brown in his party’s primary. Barney famously compared talking with the supporter of economist Lyndon Larouche to “arguing with a dining room table” during a town hall meeting last year.

In the general election Frank will face off against Republican Sean Bielat, a 35-year-old ex-Marine and businessman from Brookline. Bielat defeated Earl Sholley, a 62-year-old Norfolk businessman, in the GOP primary.

There were also a number of primary contests in a number of other congressional races.

U.S. House – 6th District

In the 6th District Republicans Bill Hudak defeated Robert McCarthy and will take on Democratic incumbent Rep. John Tierney in November.

Turnout was relatively light, according to Secretary of State William Galvin. He said the turnout was higher than two years ago, but not as high as the primary four year ago, which featured a hotly contested Democratic primary for governor.

The four candidates for governor – Democrat Deval Patrick, Republican Charles Baker, independent Timothy Cahill and Green-Rainbow candidate Jill Stein – are unopposed and will face off in the Nov. 2 general election.

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