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Few Challengers For Mass. Legislature

By Steve LeBlanc, Associated Press
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BOSTON (AP) — Candidates for nearly half of the seats in the 200-member Massachusetts Legislature are facing no opposition in this year’s election.

In the 40-member Senate, 20 incumbent lawmakers — the vast majority of them Democrats — have no challengers in both the primary and general elections. There are currently four Republicans in the Senate.

Among those senators facing no competition is Amherst Democrat Stanley Rosenberg, who is expected to replace Therese Murray as Senate president. Murray is not seeking re-election. Republican Senate leader Bruce Tarr of Gloucester is also running unopposed.

In the 160-member House more than 70 candidates, most of them incumbent Democrats, are also facing no opposition in the primary or general elections, according to the state secretary’s office.

Many more incumbents in both chambers face no challengers in the Democratic and Republican primaries in September, giving them a clear path to the November general election.

House Speaker Robert DeLeo, for example, is unopposed in the Democratic primary, but the Winthrop native will face Republican challenger — former Winthrop Town Meeting Member Paul Caruccio — in November.

Democrats already hold overwhelming majorities in the House and Senate. Republicans have been trying to chip away at those totals for years.

The lack of competition hasn’t slowed the flow of fundraising dollars.

Some of those lawmakers running unopposed, like Rosenberg, are also among those who collected the most in campaign donations from lobbyists this year, according to a recent Associated Press review of lobbyist donations.

Eight of the state’s 11 district attorneys are also running unopposed this year, including Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley.

Among those district attorneys facing opposition is Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan, who was appointed to the post last year, filling the seat left vacant by the resignation of former Middlesex District Attorney Gerald Leone.

The Belmont resident will face off against fellow Democrat Michael Sullivan, who currently serves as Clerk of Courts of Middlesex Superior Court. Sullivan also served 14 years as a Cambridge city councilor.

Ryan has come under criticism recently for her office’s handling of the domestic violence investigation in the Jared Remy case. A report requested by Ryan found prosecutors poorly handled the assault allegations against Remy, including failing to adequately consider his history of domestic violence.

Remy was arrested Aug. 13 after he allegedly pushed girlfriend Jennifer Martel into a mirror. He was released on his own recognizance Aug. 14 and stabbed her to death at their apartment the next day. He pleaded guilty Tuesday to first-degree murder.

Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe, a Republican, is facing a challenge from former Barnstable Town Councilor Richard Barr, a Democrat.

And there are four Democratic candidates hoping to fill the seat currently held by Hampden District Attorney Mark Mastroianni, who is not seeking re-election. No Republicans are running for the office.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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