ELECTIONS

Rep. Peter Welch will run for the U.S. Senate, aiming to win the seat that will be vacated next year when Sen. Patrick Leahy retires.

Vermont Public Radio has learned that Welch, who has served eight terms in the U.S. House, is planning to seek the seat that will become open after the announced retirement of Sen. Patrick Leahy.

Mayor Joshua Garcia of Holyoke, Massachusetts, acknowledges the crowd as he arrives for his swearing-in ceremony on Nov. 15, 2021.
Kevin Gutting / Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com

Less than two weeks after Election Day, Joshua Garcia was sworn in as mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts. He’ll finish out the term of former Mayor Alex Morse, before beginning a full term in January.

Sen. Leahy announces he won't seek reelection next fall

Nov 15, 2021

Updated 11 a.m.

Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy has announced he won't seek reelection next fall. He's the longest-serving Senate Democrat, first elected in 1975.

"It's time to put down the gavel," Leahy said. "It's time to pass the torch to the next Vermonter, who will carry on this great work for this great state. It's time to come home.“

Leahy, 81, shared the news at a press event Monday morning at the Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier. He planned to return to Washington afterwards.

Gov. Chris Sununu said he will run for a fourth term as New Hampshire's governor, rather than challenge incumbent Sen. Maggie Hassan.

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"I'd rather push myself 120 miles an hour delivering wins for New Hampshire than to slow down, end up on Capitol Hill, debating partisan politics without results," Sununu said at a Tuesday morning press conference.

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont is running for re-election. He said he kept his plans ambiguous before filing paperwork this week.

He expects to be the Democratic Party nominee for governor next year because he believes he’s made a difference in the three years he’s served as governor.

Michelle Wu made history this week when she became the first woman and first person of color to be elected to serve as mayor of Boston.

While most mayor-elects typically have a couple months to prepare for the office, Wu has just two weeks.

Wu joined WBUR’s Morning Edition host Rupa Shenoy live to discuss what’s ahead.

Highlights from this interview have been lightly edited for clarity.

Interview Highlights

On having just two weeks to prepare to take office

Week in review: why some election firsts matter

Nov 5, 2021
nancy eve cohen / NEPM

Change sometimes comes slowly. Still, municipal elections this week provide plenty of evidence it is coming in western Massachusetts. That is one conclusion of the journalists who reviewed some of the top news stories of the week for And Another Thing.

Delmarina López, at her campaign party on November 2, 2021.
Courtesy / Delmarina López

Chicopee voters this week elected a new city councilor reported to be the first person of color elected to the council — and the first woman since 2005.

Mass. Gov. Baker on Maine hydroelectric corridor: 'I don't see it as dead'

Nov 5, 2021
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, at Boston Children's Hospital, said his team is still working on next steps to meet the state's clean energy goals after Maine voters displayed opposition to an electric transmission project.
Chris Lisinski / State House News Service

Two days after Maine voters dealt a blow to the future of transmission lines that could deliver nearly a fifth of the electricity demand in Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker said he does not believe the project is outright doomed, but signaled his team is still determining how to proceed.

North Adams, Massachusetts City Hall
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPM

Voters in North Adams, Massachusetts, made history this week. They elected the first woman mayor and first Black and openly transgender city councilors.

The mayor-elect of Holyoke, Massachusetts, Joshua Garcia, enters his campaign party after getting a concession phone call from City Councilor Mike Sullivan. He is holding the hand of his son Ethan.
Don Treeger / The Republican / masslive.com

Updated at 2:45 a.m. 

An incumbent mayor went down in Westfield, and Holyoke elected its first Latino mayor. Voters cast ballots in local elections Tuesday, with six contested mayoral elections across western Massachusetts.

An "I voted" sticker.
Daniel Morrison / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/danielmorrison/291582376

Low voter turnout is forecast across Massachusetts for 55 municipal elections in the state. One reason for the lower turnout is that local elections are usually held separately from national and state elections, which have better known candidates. Local campaigns also have less money.

Jane Swift speaking at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.
Berkshire Eagle / berkshireeagle.com


The last western Massachusetts resident to hold statewide office finds the prospect of candidates for both Governor and Lieutenant Governor with western Massachusetts ties exciting. Former Lieutenant Governor Jane Swift (R-North Adams) discussed the political challenges faced by candidates from the western part of the state as part of a wide-ranging interview on And Another Thing.

Agawam, Massachusetts, Mayor Bill Sapelli debates challenger Charlie Alvanos on October 27, 2021.
Screenshot / Courtesy WWLP

Bill Sapelli, the mayor of Agawam, Massachusetts, is running against Charlie Alvanos to get another two-year term.

Matt Tibbitts appeared on "Generation Vote," a special series from NEPM's Connecting Point.
NEPM

The election that scared me was the one that would fill a vacant seat in a district that was a redder shade of purple than one would expect for Massachusetts.

Joshua Garcia and Michael Sullivan are running for mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts. If Garcia were to win, he would be the city's first Puerto Rican mayor in the city's history.
File photos / Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com

For the first time in a decade, residents of Holyoke, Massachusetts, will pick a new mayor this Election Day. The race is between former business owner and City Councilor Michael Sullivan and Joshua Garcia, a veteran of municipal government who is currently the town administrator in Blandford, Massachusetts.

Voters in 55 communities across Massachusetts are slated to take part in municipal elections Tuesday.

But election officials say enthusiasm in the local races, especially outside of Boston, is down considerably from a year ago, when the pitched battle between Donald Trump and Joe Biden drove record numbers of voters to the polls.

“I think it’ll be a fairly low turnout,” said Cynthia Scrivani, Brockton’s election chief. “I’m predicting roughly about 18%, which is rather low and dismal.”

The candidates for mayor of North Adams, Massachusetts, Lynette Bond (left) and Jennifer Macksey (right), recently met for a debate at MCLA.
Screen shot / iBerkshires.com

Three western Massachusetts cities are holding open mayoral elections next week, including in North Adams, where incumbent Tom Bernard is not seeking re-election. This is the first year both candidates for mayor are women: Lynette Bond and Jennifer Macksey. But voters aren’t focusing on gender.

Dave Roback / THE REPUBLICAN MASS LIVE

New England states are preparing for a new round of COVID-19 vaccinations as early as next week. That’s when lower dosage shots for children as young as 5 could receive final federal approval. It is one of the topics up for review by panelists this week on And Another Thing.

A voting sign.
Shannon McGee / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/shan213

Tuesday is municipal Election Day across western Massachusetts. There are contested mayoral races in six communities, including three where incumbent mayors are not running for another term.

Michael McCabe, right, concedes the mayoral election to Don Humason, left, at Humason's district office in Westfield.
Karen Brown / NEPR

The mayoral election in Westfield, Massachusetts, Tuesday features the same two candidates as the last one. Back in 2019, Don Humason edged out Michael McCabe by just 90 votes to take the open seat.

Easthampton, Massachusetts, Mayor Nicole LaChapelle and challenger Eric Berzins participate in a debate.
Courtesy WWLP

The mayor of Easthampton, Massachusetts, has two people running against her in November. But they are hardly pulling out all the stops to take the job.

Northampton mayoral candidates Gina-Louise Sciarra and Marc Warner.
File Photo / Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com

An open seat for mayor of Northampton, Massachusetts, will be filled on Nov. 2. City Council President Gina-Louise Sciarra and transportation analyst Marc Warner earned their way onto the ballot as the top two finishers in the September preliminary.

On a recent rainy afternoon, traffic in Dorchester was moving slowly and Annissa Essaibi George was out of breath — and running late.

“Oh my god, the rain, the school busses,” she said, apologizing for being late, as she stepped into the Stitch House, the knitting and sewing shop she opened 18 years ago.

Bright colored yarn and wool cover the walls and fill the store’s shelves. The shop also offers classes in knitting, sewing and crochet — hobbies that Essaibi George loves.

On a recent afternoon at Michelle Wu’s campaign headquarters in Jamaica Plain, the candidate was on the run, chasing one of her two young sons around the office.

Wu said her son didn’t go to school that morning due to “some issues and moods,” so she and her husband split the day with him.

“We had popcorn spilled out all over the office, a cup thrown in a tantrum and lots of running around,” Wu said.

Massachusetts Rep. Paul Mark plans run for state Senate

Oct 18, 2021
Massachusetts state Rep. Paul Mark at a forum in 2019.
File photo / MassLive / masslive.com

Massachusetts state Rep. Paul Mark plans to announce his campaign for state Senate on Monday, eyeing higher officer after six terms in the House in a move that will also avoid the Peru Democrat having to potentially run against one of his colleagues to remain in his reconfigured House district.

The members of the School Committee in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Worcester Public Schools

Worcester is changing how it elects its School Committee. That's after a lawsuit was filed alleging the current system violated federal law.

ADAM FRENIER/NEPM

A western Massachusetts political figure is taking the rare step of running for statewide office. Shrinking population could cost the western part of the state a little political influence the next time state lawmakers are elected. More evacuees from Afghanistan are arriving each day in western New England, where residents are offering warm welcomes.

Massachusetts state Sen. Adam Hinds (left) speaks with state Sen. Adam Gomez  on October 13, 2021. During a campaign kickoff event in Springfield, Gomez endorsed Hinds' run for lieutenant governor.
Adam Frenier / NEPM

Pittsfield Democratic state Senator Adam Hinds is launching a bid for lieutenant governor in Massachusetts. He made the announcement official Wednesday during campaign stops in Pittsfield, Springfield and Boston.

Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu has a commanding lead over fellow Councilor Annissa Essaibi George in the race to be the city’s next mayor, according to a new poll from WBUR. The survey found Wu leads Essaibi George by 32 points with election day less than three weeks away.

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