Candidates making final campaign appeals ahead of Tuesday elections

Secretary of State William Galvin believes that the questions on the ballot are more likely to motivate people to vote.
Published: Nov. 7, 2022 at 6:16 PM EST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - Western Mass News is taking a look at the key local races ahead of election day on Tuesday.

There are a couple races on Tuesday’s ballot that will most likely draw in some people to the polling places. However, Secretary of State William Galvin believes that the questions on the ballot are more likely to motivate people to vote.

There are many key races and big questions on this year’s ballots for Massachusetts voters.

Of course, the most anticipated state race this year is the race for governor between Democratic candidate Maura Healey, the current attorney general, and Republican Geoffrey Diehl. Libertarian Kevin Reed is also in the race.

Healey is running with lt. Governor candidate Kim Driscoll, Diehl is running with Leah Cole Allen, and Reed is running with Peter Everett.

Here in western Massachusetts, there are some Senate seats that will be the local races to watch.

Senator Eric Lesser gave up his seat in the Hampden, Hampshire, and Worcester District to run for lt. Governor. Running for his seat is Democrat Jake Oliveira, a current state representative from Ludlow.

“Conveying the message of investing in Western Massachusetts,” said Oliveira. “That’s why I got into this race, to support our seniors, our veterans, to make sure we grow our economy here in Western Massachusetts.”

His opponent is Republican business owner Bill Johnson.

“I’m the only candidate that has business experience,” Johnson said. “I’m the only candidate that has created jobs. I see what my employees and their families have gone through with inflation, and I really feel like I can make a difference on Beacon Hill.”

Also, a race to watch is for the State Senate seat in the Hampden and Hampshire District. Incumbent Democrat John Velis will try to keep his seat.

“I’m just a bipartisan lawmaker who votes based on an issue, not on a party, and I firmly believe we need more of that,” Senator Velis told us. “Based on what I’m hearing on doors, I think a lot of people agree with that.”

His opponent, Cecilia Calabrese, is a Republican and current Holyoke city councilor. She sent Western Mass News a statement which read in part, quote:

“I am the only candidate for State Senate in the Hampden/Hampshire District that will bring balance, accountability, and transparency to Beacon Hill. I will be the strong voice from western Massachusetts that has been missing in the State Senate for too long.”

Secretary of State William Galvin believes that these races will not be what will motivate voters. He believes the ballot questions will be what draws them in.

“It almost makes this election more like a midterm exam than a midterm choice,” he told us.

Those ballot questions include:

  • Question 1: dubbed as “a millionaires tax,” which would alter the state constitution to introduce a 4% surtax on annual income over $1 million
  • Question 2: new rules for dental insurance
  • Question 3: aimed to change alcohol licensing at chain stores
  • Question 4: believed to be the most controversial on the ballot -- whether or not to offer drivers licenses to unauthorized immigrants.

Secretary Galvin guesses that voter turnout in total for the state will be about 2.2 million, significantly lower than years past.

Polling places open Tuesday at 7 a.m.