By Christopher Gavin / Boston.com / May 20, 2020
Democrats picked up two Massachusetts Senate seats Tuesday, flipping districts from Republicans, who now hold four seats in the state’s 40-member upper chamber.
State Rep. John Velis, a Westfield Democrat, beat John Cain, a Southwick Republican newcomer, to take the 2nd Hampden and Hampshire District, returning the seat to Democrats for the first time in 25 years, MassLive reports.
“I’m just humbled,” the senator-elect said. “I have the best team in the world. It’s not about me, it’s about the people who came out and shared their support and under these circumstances.”
Meanwhile, Falmouth Democrat Susan Moran bested Republican James “Jay” McMahon III, of Bourne, for the Plymouth and Barnstable District, according to The Cape Cod Times. Moran will be the first Democrat to hold the seat since former Senate President Therese Murray did not seek another term in 2014.
“This was a spectacular effort,” Moran told her supporters, the newspaper reports. “I have a plethora of riches of support. I’m ready to hit the ground running. There’s a lot to be done.”
So what do the losses mean for state Republicans?
For starters, state Democratic Party Chair Gus Bickford framed the victories as a rejection of President Donald Trump, building unity as Democrats head into another round of special elections next month and what’s likely to be a contentious — and polarizing — presidential election in November.
“Two areas that were strong for Donald Trump a few years ago came back home and voted blue tonight,” Bickford said in a statement Tuesday night. “Democrats and independents are united now more than ever, and we will continue to work together through the fall. These two flipped seats are a sign of things to come in a few months.”
Although Republicans, with Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, control the state’s executive branch, the party also only holds 31 out of the 160 seats in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.