Several competitive races for Sept. 4 primary election

Jamaica Plain residents will head to the polls on Sept. 4 for the primary election, and unlike in years past, many voters will have an opportunity to help decide competitive local races.

Two races that have captured the most attention in the neighborhood, and that many JP residents will be voting on, are local state Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez (15th Suffolk District) facing-off against Nika Elugardo and U.S. Rep. Mike Capuano (7th Congressional District) versus Boston At-Large City Councilor Ayanna Pressley. Both those races are for the Democratic nomination for those districts for the Nov. 6 general election. There are no Republican or Libertarian challengers for those races.

Sanchez has deep roots in the area, having grown up in a Mission Hill housing development and now living in JP. He has risen through the ranks of House to become the powerful chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Elugardo, also a JP resident, is a former aid of local State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz and a former director of a nonprofit that provides financial education and other resources to those wanting to achieve financial stability and build wealth. Some people see Elugardo as running to the left of Sanchez. The Gazette recently asked both candidates to give their pitch to JP voters.


“It’s an honor to serve as your state representative. Throughout my time in office, I’ve worked to represent you and move a progressive Democratic agenda to make healthcare access universal, protect women’s rights and equality, make housing affordable, and our communities safer from gun violence.

I’m the only candidate in this race with a proven record passing progressive legislation. I’ve fought to be in a position where I can make the greatest change on the values we share. We’re just getting started.

I humbly ask for your vote on Sept. 4 so I can continue serving you and our community.”


“Dark times threaten our democracy. While most Massachusetts legislators responded with historic legislation, House leadership prioritizes fidelity to money and power. Count on me to champion full education funding, environmental justice, immigration protections, and other bills swept aside by House leadership.

For 20 years I’ve worked with multi-sector leaders, producing sustainable solutions to problems including foreclosure, youth violence, wealth inequity, and gender injustice. My training and experience in negotiation and collaboration will help the House advance justice for all, not just for some. In the Democratic Primary the differences are clear:

Vote for me so our powerful progressive voice resounds throughout Massachusetts.”

Capuano is a Somerville resident and former mayor of that city. He was first elected to Congress in 1998 and is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and the Financial Services Committee. Pressley is a Dorchester resident who was first voted to the Boston City Council in 2009, becoming the first woman of color to be elected to that body. She chairs the City Council’s Committee on Healthy Women, Families, and Communities, which she helped create.


“I’m running for Congress to stay on the front lines of the fight to stop Donald Trump and his destructive policies, and fight for our progressive values. I’m a lifelong supporter of leveling the playing field, affordable housing, equitable transit, Medicare for all. I drafted one of the first sanctuary city laws in our country. Because of my strong progressive record, I’ve earned 100 percent ratings from Planned Parenthood, the Human Rights Campaign and the NAACP. And I’ve consistently delivered record funding to expand affordable housing and improve transportation in the district. I’ll never stop fighting for you and the values we believe in.”


“I have dedicated my life to the eradication of poverty and inequality in all their forms. I have listened, organized, and partnered to elevate the voices of communities and individuals who are too often left behind – whether that’s the single mother in Somerville, the entrepreneur in Roxbury, the electrician in Everett, or the grandmother in Jamaica Plain. Now, as we face down entrenched inequalities that are only being made worse by the cruel and draconian policies advanced by the administration in Washington, we need that same kind of empathetic, activist leadership in Congress. I hope I can count on your vote on Sept. 4.”

Other JP voters will help decide the Democratic nomination for the 8th Congressional District where incumbent Stephen Lynch faces challengers Christopher Voehl and Brianna Wu. Lynch and Wu did not respond for a request to comment.


“I’m Christopher Voehl from Milton and my story is about service. I was a US F-15E fighter pilot and drone commander with six deployments including combat time in Iraq. After the military, I started my current job as a jumbo jet pilot. My message is Peace, Prosperity, Clean Air, and Health Care. My economic plan is designed to keep your money in your wallet. You earned it.

My way forward includes pre-existing conditions, Medicare, and Social Security. Lynch’s way forward is Medicare4All/single payer which guarantees nothing except a huge tax bill. Please vote for Christopher Voehl. Thank you.”

There are no Republican or Libertarian challengers for this district.

Another competitive race that some JP residents will vote on is for the Democratic nomination for the 11th Suffolk District seat. Incumbent Liz Malia is being challenged by radio station owner Charles Clemons Muhammad and Ture Turnbull, who is the executive director of MassCare, which advocates for the creation of a single-payer healthcare system.


“Now more than ever, it is important to have elected officials at all levels of government willing
to stand up for justice, equality, and progress.

From passing a groundbreaking criminal justice reform bill, to creating more detox beds for those dealing with substance use disorders, repealing outdated laws that could impact women’s access to healthcare here in Massachusetts, to continuing to stand up for LGBTQ+ rights, environmental sustainability, and our most vulnerable residents, I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish by working together.

On Tuesday, September 4th, I ask for your vote.”


“A Northeastern and Harvard graduate, I will bring 12 years of experience fighting for social and economic justice in Massachusetts, strong relationships with legislators, constituents, and community-leaders, and a legacy of passionate advocacy for the disenfranchised.  Our legislative process is bogged down by the status-quo and is increasingly resistant to change. We can do much, much more as public servants to promote citizens’ fundamental rights to healthcare, housing, education, and human services. I will come with a fresh vision of what is possible, abundant energy to address the needs of everyone I represent, and an enduring commitment to progressive change.”

Muhammad did not respond to a request for comment.

There are no Republican or Libertarian challengers for this district.

Some residents will weigh-in on the Democratic nomination District 4 seat for the Governor’s Council. Incumbent Christopher Iannella is facing a challenge from Mark Rooney.


“I will always be thankful for the trust the voters have placed in me by electing me to the Governor’s Council. I appreciate the opportunity to serve as the citizens’ eyes and ears on the Council. I will continue to do my very best to represent our district.”

Rooney did not respond to a request for comment.

There are no Republican or Libertarian challengers for the seat.

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