Holmes snags only open state seat here

Rebeca Oliveira

Payne gets more JP votes

FOREST HILLS/WOODBOURNE—In a reversal of expectations, Russell Holmes defeated Karen Payne, along with three other challengers, to win the state house’s 6th Suffolk district in the Democratic primary Sept. 14, though Payne won in Jamaica Plain. As there is no Republican challenger for this seat, Holmes should win the race in November.

Holmes is against same-sex marriage, but supports civil unions, he told the Gazette in a phone interview last Friday. “I know that was one of the issues that made me not do very well in JP,” he said.

“There will be no legislation drafted by me to change laws currently in place,” he added, saying, “There are many other issues beyond my stance against gay marriage. There are many other things that we are in agreement on.”

Payne told the Gazette in an e-mail last Wednesday that even though the primary election is over, “We have a lot of work to do for our governor and Democrats across the state who share our vision for fair and equitable treatment for all.”

Holmes received 910 votes, or 32.94 percent of the total votes cast in the district, which covers part of Forest Hills and Woodbourne as well as large parts of Mattapan, Dorchester, Hyde Park and Roslindale. Payne came in second in the five-candidate race, with 622 votes, 22.51 percent.

Payne had the endorsements of retiring state rep. Willie Mae Allen, who is vacating the seat in question, as well as state Reps. Liz Malia, Gloria Fox, Marty Walsh and Jeffrey Sánchez, former City Councilor John Tobin and Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea Cabral.

In the few JP precincts in the 6th Suffolk district, in the Forest Hills/Woodbourne area, Holmes received 125 votes, only 13.73 percent of his total. Payne received 278 votes in the same area, 44.69 percent of her total.

“I know that’s where Karen was strongest,” Holmes told the Gazette in a phone interview last Friday. “I know there were some concerns about me being more conservative.”

Because his first priority is crime, Holmes said he has been meeting with his former opponents and police and parole departments since his win to discuss how they can go forward from this point. He wants his JP constituents to know that he is available and will continue to try to earn their support, he said.

Holmes’s strongest areas were Hyde Park and Mattapan, with some precincts giving him as much as 60 percent of the total vote.

Payne has lived the past 25 years in Dorchester, Mattapan and Roslindale.

Darrin Howell, Kathy Gabriel and Divo R. Monteiro also ran in this race, garnering 16, 14 and 2 percent of the votes, respectively.

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