Near midnight Tuesday, the race to replace U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III in the 4th Congressional District was virtually tied between Newton City Councilor Jake Auchincloss and former Deval Patrick aide Jesse Mermell. Meanwhile, incumbent Reps. Richard Neal, Stephen Lynch and Seth Moulton all cruised to wide victories shortly after polls closed.
Here’s the latest in the congressional races:
- With an insurmountable lead, North Shore U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton was the winner over challengers Angus McQuilken and Jamie Belsito, according to the Associated Press
- South Shore U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch was declared the victor in the 8th Congressional District race
- U.S. Rep. Richard Neal was called as the winner in the 1st Congressional District, according to the Associated Press
- Attleboro resident Julie Hall was declared the winner in the Republican 4th Congressional District primary
The 2020 congressional primary in Massachusetts was almost entirely a Democratic affair — from the crowded race to replace Kennedy to the brawl in western Massachusetts between incumbent Neal and Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse.
On the North Shore, two challengers — Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence co-founder McQuilken and Salem State University trustee Belsito — sought to block Moulton from a fourth term. On the South Shore, Lynch faced a primary challenge for the second consecutive cycle from physician Robbie Goldstein.
The Neal-Morse race was marked by one of the oddest political moments of the year. A group of UMass Amherst College Democrats tried to cancel Morse by accusing him of inappropriate conduct with students. But leaked documents revealed that a UMass student concocted the political hit in the hopes he would land a job with Neal. Morse was running as a progressive alternative to Neal, who has been criticized his ties to the pharmaceutical industry.
Even after Tuesday’s loss, Morse and his supporters declared a partial victory. Justice Democrats, a group founded by former Bernie Sanders campaign staffers, said Morse was Neal’s strongest challenger yet, setting him up for future races.
“Alex Morse emerges as an inspiration for his community who overcame a culture of fear instilled by the incumbent and desperate, manufactured attacks,” Executive Director Alexandra Rojas said in a news release.
More 2020 Massachusetts primary coverage:
The literal biggest Democratic race was in the 4th Congressional District, where nine Democrats sought to fill Kennedy’s shoes (although two dropped out before Sept. 1). Auchincloss and Mermell were neck-and-neck in a pre-election poll — and remained about 900 votes apart as of midnight.
The 4th covers a wide swath of the state, from Brookline to Milford and south to Fall River.
The 4th Congressional District was also the site of the sole Republican primary, where Julia Hall and David Rose were competing to take on the winner of the Democratic primary. Rose made a run for Kennedy’s seat in 2016, and Hall most recently tried to unseat state Rep. James Hawkins (D-Attleboro) in the 2018 general election.
Here are the early congressional primary results as of 11:45 p.m. Tuesday:
1st Congressional District
- (i) — 59.1%
4th Congressional District
- Jesse Mermell — 23.13%
- Becky Grossman — 17.27%
6th Congressional District
- (i) — 77.15%
8th Congressional District
- (i) — 67.02%
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