Episode 146: Primary School

36 minutes

8/27/20--It's the final episode before the Sept. 1 primary election here in Massachusetts, and Steve, Stephanie, Jenn, and a special guest have a lot to talk about.

They begin with the Democratic primary race for U.S. Senate. Horse Race co-host and Politico Massachusetts Playbook author Stephanie Murray has been covering it exhaustively. What stuck out to her in her coverage is that this race does not fall in line with the stereotypical narratives you tend to hear about primary races involving a long-time incumbent and younger challenger.

“In the most basic sense, Joe Kennedy is the insurgent outsider," Murray says. But, it's the sitting incumbent, Ed Markey, who's gotten outspoken support from younger, progressive voters. Plus, Kennedy's has establishment support (read: Speaker Pelosi endorsement), and, Murray says, "he's an expert at raising money," a description usually attributed to the incumbent.

The same could be said about the Republicans vying for the Senate seat, Steve Koczela says. The contest between Shiva Ayyadurai and Kevin O'Connor does not mirror the tension of the MassGOP, which is split between Trump loyalism and a more moderate Republicanism that Governor Charlie Baker represents. Both these contestants fall into the Trump brand of Republicanism, Steve explains. Where they differ is in their tone and rhetoric.

Jennifer Smith runs through the interesting state legislative primaries happening in the hub that could pave a new future of Boston politics, and MassINC Polling Group Research Director and The Horse Race's Western Mass Bureau Chief Rich Parr provides insight into the 5th Hampden District primary where three candidates vie for the seat vacated by House Rep. Aaron Vega.

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