In one of the sleepiest primary elections in years, Massachusetts voters will be going to the polls this Thursday -- yes, Thursday, not the customary Tuesday -- and Jamaica Plain residents will have the opportunity to weigh in on several contested races.
Polls will be open Thursday, Sept. 8, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Not sure where to vote? Click here to find out from the Massachusetts Secretary of State.
In surveying the field, we'll start with one race that often flies under the radar: The Suffolk County Register of Deeds. Wondering what the Register of Deeds does? He or she "... is responsible for recording all documents relative to real estate including deed, mortgages, releases, and liens in the cities and towns of Boston, Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop." This is important when you check ownership of property because "The Registry provides access to these documents for the purpose of checking ownership and to see if a title is clear (no liens against it) before the buyer purchases property or land."
This is a vacant position, and seven Democrats are running for the seat -- plus three nonparty-affiliated candidates. Some names you may recognize from previous elections or positions. Katie Forde of Roslindale has been endorsed by both The Boston Globe and the Boston Herald, a rare feat for any candidate. Here's a column by Forde that ran on Jamaica Plain News.
Other candidates include former Boston City Councilor Stephen Murphy, Jeffrey Michael Ross, Stephanie Everett, Michael Mackan and Paul Nutting Jr. Not to be forgotten is perennial candidate Doug Bennett (he of the homemade green and white painted signs), who was allegedly caught removing a sign endorsing state Rep. Dan Cullinane (D-Dorchester) from a private home and replacing it with his own. One of the three nonparty-affiliated candidates is Joseph Donnelly, Jr., who said one reason he's running for the position is because he'd like a regular paycheck, according to the Globe. Margherita Ciampa-Coyne and John Keith are also running for the seat.
In the Suffolk County Sheriff's race, there are two candidates, both Democrats. Current Sheriff Steven Tompkins was appointed in 2013 due to a vacancy, and has worked at the sheriff's department since 2002. Alexander Rhalimi of Revere has owned and operated his own business for 17 years and is a board member for the East Boston Chamber of Commerce, according to The Beacon Hill Times.
In the local state representative races, longtime incumbent Liz Malia (D-Jamaica Plain) is seeking reelection in the 11th Suffolk District. She has a storied career of helping the community; read part one of a Jamaica Plain News Q&A with Malia here and part two here. Her opponent in the Democratic field is Charles Clemons Jr., who previously ran for mayor in 2013.
Incumbent State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Boston) is facing a challenge from perennial candidate Roy Owens in the Second Suffolk District Democratic primary. Incumbent State Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez (D-Boston) is running unopposed in the Democratic primary for the 15th Suffolk District seat. Democratic Congressman Michael Capuano, D-7th, is seeking reelection and is running unopposed.
JP residents will also be voting on the Governor's Councilor for the 4th District in the Democratic primary. Incumbent Christopher Iannella Jr. of Jamaica Plain is running against Stephen Flynn of Hull.