A Flood of Special Elections?

Hey you – especially those of you who are trying to maintain a perfect attendance record at the ballot box. Does it seem like there are way too many special elections to try to keep up with?

Me, too, so I compiled this list to check my sense of these things. The list includes only state elections and not the special elections to succeed U.S. Senators Kennedy and Kerry.

I have listed only the final result, but many of these special elections included both a primary and a general, adding to the total number.  Here they are, starting in 2009:

2009

  • Special election to replace Representative (and Speaker) Sal DiMasi of Boston, who resigned, was won by Aaron Michlewicz

2010 

  • Special election to replace Senator Scott Brown, who was elected to the U.S. Senate, was won by Representative Richard Ross.
  • Special election to replace Representative William Lantigua of Lawrence, who resigned under political pressure to vacate one of his elective offices (he was also Mayor of Lawrence), was won by Marcos Devers.

2011

  • Special election to replace Representative Stephen Canessa of Lakeville, who resigned to take a job in the health care industry, was won by  Keiko Orrall.
  • Special election to replace Representative Christopher Speranzao of Pittsfield, who was named Clerk Magistrate of the Pittsfield District Court, was won by Tricia Farley-Bouvier.
  • Special election between Geraldo Alicea of Southbridge and Peter Durant of Spencer, whose 2010 contest resulted in a tie, was won by Peter Durant.
  • Special election to replace Representative Peter Koutoujian of Newton, who was named Middlesex County Sheriff, was won by John Lawn.

2012

  • Special election to replace Senator Steven Tolman of Watertown, who resigned to become President of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, was won by William Brownsberger.

2013

  • Special election to replace Representative Joyce Spiliotis of Peabody, who died, was won by Leah Cole.
  • Special election to replace Representative Stephen Smith of Everett, who resigned as part of a plea bargain in an election fraud case, was won by Wayne Matewsky.
  • Special election to replace Senator John Hart, who resigned to join the law firm Nelson Mullins, was won by Representative Linda Dorcena Forry.

Still to come in 2013

  • Special election to replace Representative Marty Walz of Boston, who resigned to become the President of Planned Parenthood Massachusetts, will be held on June 25.  Democrat Jay Livingstone may face a write-in challenger.
  • Special election to replace Representative David Sullivan of Fall River, who resigned to become the Director of the Fall River Housing Authority, will be held on September 10.
  • Special election to replace Representative John Fresolo of Worcester, who resigned amid ethics charges brought against him in the House of Representatives, will be held on September 10.

And after that will likely come some jockeying for all the newly-vacated positions resulting from the Markey-Gomez Senate race.    So stay tuned for updates.

5 thoughts on “A Flood of Special Elections?

  1. Don’t forget the upcoming special election in the 12th Suffolk district to succeed Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry once the results of her Senate race are certified.

  2. So, say Clark, Brownsberger, Spilka, or Sciortino win Markey’s seat. There will be a special election to fill the victor’s seat. Say it’s one of the state senators — and then say a state rep runs and wins that state senate seat — there will be another special election for that! WHEW!

    • Indeed — the possibilities are endless (or rather, there’s a possibility that the special elections will be endless). In 2012, The Speaker and Senate President decided not to have special elections for Brownsberger’s, Pedone’s and Baddour’s seats and just left those districts unrepresented, so if all this drags into 2014, maybe the specials will stop. But on the other hand, DeLeo and Murray cited the new legislative districts taking effect for the November 2012 elections as one of the reasons not to hold those special elections. WHEW is right.

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