With one week to complete the ballot-qualification process, a total of 54 candidates had secured ballot positions in the 40 state senate districts as of yesterday afternoon. That includes 30 incumbents; another 7 incumbents who are running for re-election (as far as I know) have not yet gotten around to turning in their signatures: Robert Hedlund, Brian Joyce, Michael Knapik, Mark Montigny, Therese Murray, Bruce Tarr, and James Timilty.
Of the 24 non-incumbents who have qualified, 12 are in the three open-seat districts of Steven Baddour, Fred Berry, and Susan Fargo. In the 1st Essex, which figures to be most competitive in the general election, two Republicans are in: Sam Meas and Shaun Toohey. The GOP has two in the 3rd Middlesex also: Greg Howes and Sandi Martinez. There may be no Republican in the 2nd Essex race, as Richard Jolitz has not qualified and his nascent campaign does not appear to be active.
For the Democrats, Timothy Coco, Kathleen Ives, and William Manzi have qualified in the 1st Essex. Mary-Ellen Manning is the only qualifier so far in the 2nd Essex, but I'm sure others are coming. And in the 3rd Middlesex Joseph Kearns-Goodwin is the only one still missing, while Michael Barrett, Alexander Buck, Mara Dolan, and Joe Mullen are in.
So, if you're doing the math, we so far have 12 official challengers to the 37 state senate incumbents seeking re-election. Two are Democrats challenging Republicans: Genevieve Davis and Steve May, both going after Robert Hedlund. Two others are Democrats challenging Democrats: David Meade vs. Michael Rodrigues, and Melvin Edwards vs. James Welch.
That leaves 8 Republican challengers to Democratic incumbents. They are Jeffrey Bailey (James Timilty), James Buba (Eileen Donoghue), Dean Cavaretta (Jamie Eldridge), Gerry Dembrowski (Kenneth Donnelly), Thomas Dooley (Anthony Petruccelli), Thomas Keyes (Therese Murray), Steven Simonian (Michael Moore), and Alex Vispoli (Barry Finegold).
There will surely be more -- Sarah Schultz, for instance, against Karen Spilka.
But that's where we stand as of yesterday, according to the very kind folks at the office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth.
And naturally, I want to highly encourage all of these candidates -- challengers and incumbents alike, and their staff and supporters -- to submit photos for my superfantabulous tumblr: mapoliwithanimals.tumblr.com/ !!!!!