Early voting in the 2022 Massachusetts primary starts tomorrow, and election day is September 6. Here are my endorsements for the races I’m voting in, in Boston.
Themes: support progressives, support women.
I’ll be helping to staff early voting at the Jackson/Mann school on Sunday, August 28. Stop by to say hi and cast your vote!
US House, District 7: Ayanna Pressley
Pressley is the only Democrat running, so this is mostly a bye, but it’s unlikely I would vote for any Democrat who might run against her. She has done, and continues to do, a phenomenal job advancing a progressive agenda in Congress.
Massachusetts Senator in General Court, Suffolk and Middlesex: no endorsement
I was, for a long time, a strong supporter of Senator Will Brownsberger. He has served in the Senate for a long time and done a lot of important work in his time there, and we could certainly do a lot worse than having him continue to serve.
Having said that, he has never been as progressive or brave as I thought he should be. Furthermore, he has failed to use his seniority and power in the senate to publicly lead on important issues.
Brownsberger shares the blame for the legislature’s failures responding to COVID. His views on criminal justice reform are far less progressive than mine. His public stance opposing the unionization of legislature staff, coupled with his absurd stated justification for it, is simply offensive. Given his seniority and leadership position in the senate, he shares the blame for the ridiculously chaotic end to the 2022 legislative session, including the senate’s failure to send no cost calls for inmates to the governor’s desk.
I think Brownsberger has lost sight of why he became a senator. Unfortunately, he is sufficiently well-liked in his district that the likelihood of him being unseated is slim. He usually runs unopposed in the primary and often in the general election as well, because no one wants to take him on. Nevertheless, I will leave this spot on my ballot blank, and I encourage you to as well.
(To be clear, if there’s anyone running against Brownsberger in the general election, I will vote for him and I encourage you to as well, because despite my concerns, he is far superior to anyone who might end up running against him.)
Massachusetts House 17th Suffolk: no endorsement
Kevin Honan is running unopposed on the Democratic ballot in this primary. He lost my support by opposing extremely necessary reforms in the legislative process, specifically by voting against the “transparency amendment” in February 2021. I will leave this spot on my ballot blank and I hope to some day have the opportunity to cast my vote for a candidate who supports legislative transparency.
(As above, if there is anyone running against Honan in the general election, I will vote for him and I encourage you to as well.)
Suffolk County Sheriff: Sandy Zamor-Calixte
Steven Tompkins couldn’t even be bothered to respond to the League of Women Voters questionnaire for this election. He is an aggressively carceral sheriff, who has never turned down an opportunity to lock someone up. He has collaborated with ICE in the jailing and deportation of undocumented immigrants. At least six people have died in Tompkins’s jails in the past year.
In contrast, Sandy Zamor-Calixte is a strong progressive who has committed to not work with ICE, to support free phone calls, tablet use, and video-conferencing for incarcerated people, and in general to focus on addressing the root causes of incarceration rather than viewing her job as simply locking peopleup.
It is time for Tompkins to go. Vote for progressive change: vote for Sandy Zamor-Calixte for sheriff.
Governor’s Council Third District: Mara Dolan
I’ve written before about what a dumpster fire Marilyn Petitto Devaney is. One story of many: in the 2018 election she sent out a mailing immediately before the election lying about who had endorsed her. See also this recent article in The Boston Globe.
Devaney keeps winning for two reasons: (1) in many primaries more than one person run against her and split the vote; (2) there are still too many people in her district who give preference to candidates with Irish surnames. Fortunately, there’s only one (good!) candidate running against her this year, and she’s Irish, so it’s our best chance in many years to send her packing. I’m crossing my fingers!
Suffolk County District Attorney: Ricardo Arroyo
Ricardo Arroyo is a true reform candidate, the kind of DA we need in this country right now to bring real change to the carceral state which has systematically oppressed people of color for centuries. Kevin Hayden is a corrupt, carceral prosecutor who is lying about being a reform candidate to win votes from people who aren’t paying attention.
Perhaps you’ve heard about the recent hit job against Arroyo which was almost certainly orchestrated by Hayden (the police reports on which the Globe‘s hit piece were based could only have been illegally leaked by the Boston Police Department or the DA’s office, and BPD insists it wasn’t them, so 🤷). Boston City Councilor Kendra Lara explains far better than I could why I continue to support Arroyo even after this obviously politically motivated attempt to take him down.
Massachusetts Attorney General: Andrea Campbell
Both Andrea Campbell and Shannon Liss-Riordan are good candidates. I prefer Campbell because I believe that systemic racism and criminal justice reform are the most important issues for the Attorney General to focus on, and Campbell has made those the focus of her campaign, whereas Liss-Riordan has focused more on holding corporations accountable. Furthermore, I believe someone who has experienced living as as person of color in this country is better equipped to do anti-racism work.
Both Campbell and Liss-Riordan are eminently qualified, and I would be happy to have either of them as Attorney General. Frankly, I’m a bit worried that they’re similar enough that they’re going to split votes between them, causing Quentin Palfrey to come out on top (boy, do we need ranked choice voting!).
Here is why I can’t support Palfrey.
Massachusetts Auditor: Chris Dempsey
I don’t have deep knowledge of both candidates, but Dempsey has many times more endorsements than Diana DiZoglio does, including the endorsements of many people and organizations I respect and support. Also, he was the co-founder of No Boston Olympics, which makes me a bit of a fanboy.
Massachusetts Governor: Maura Healey
This is an obvious endorsement since Sonia Chang-Diáz has withdrawn from the race though her name remains on the primary ballot. I’m not a huge Healey fan, but she’s good enough to earn my vote in the primary, and certainly good enough to earn my vote against anybody the fascist GOP might put up to run against her.
Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor: Tami Gouveia
Gouveia has the experience needed to tackle the commonwealth’s most pressing problems. She has a lot of endorsements, including Progressive Mass. Her rise in Massachusetts politics has been meteoric, which speaks well about her energy and drive to bring much-needed change.
As much as I love President Obama, I consider Eric Lesser’s time in the Obama administration to be a strike against him. Obama was a centrist, and the people who worked for him were by and large centrists, and we need proud progressives right now, not centrists.
Furthermore, my wife has a theory, to which I subscribe, that given the entrenched sexism in politics, any time a man and a woman are running in the same race, the woman had to be twice as good as the man to get there. I will continue to give preference to women candidates until about half of elected officeholders are women.
Massachusetts Secretary of State: Tanisha Sullivan
It has been many, many years since William Galvin has been a good Secretary of State.
Tanisha Sullivan is a strong, progressive candidate with many strong endorsements. She deserves the job, and Galvin needs to go.
Massachusetts Treasurer: Deborah Goldberg
Deborah Goldberg is the incumbent and is running unopposed. She’s done a perfectly fine job and I’ve therefore got no reason to withhold my support, so she gets my vote.