Second Suffolk (Chelsea/Charlestown): Damali Vidot
Damali is a longtime Chelsea resident and activist who I got to know during my time in that lovely but challenged city as a fearless advocate for its poorest and most forgotten residents. She is taking on Dan Ryan who admits in the Commonwealth profile of their race that he doesn’t like to push too hard for bolder priorities unless there’s already a consensus behind them. We complain about Beacon Hill inaction a lot around here and this seems like a clear place to make a change.
Lisa Arnold in Lowell is one of two challengers fighting to replace ethically embattled incumbent David Nangle, one of the more conservative members of the House. Arnold is the challenger endorsed by Lynne from Lowell which is good enough for me, but you can check out her website for more info. Her background in database systems and management combined with her involvement in social justice causes and familiarity with the Lowell and Chelmsford portions of the district make her a great choice to replace a lousy incumbent.
Paul Donato, a formerly socially conservative and presently fiscally conservative Democrat is being challenged by an OR founder and PM endorsed progressive, Nichole Mossalam. There’s a good write up of her race here. She’s a Muslim American progressive leader and Malden mother committed to economic, environmental, and social justice. The incumbent was endorsed by Mass Right to Life and Gun Owners Action League as recently as six years ago. An original legislative opponent of marriage equality to boot. While he’s ‘evolved’ on social issues in his first three decades in office, how long can voters wait for him to evolve on the economy and climate?
Lastly while an open race, my friend Joe Gravellese whom Charley interviewed last month, is running a strong progressive race in Saugus, Revere, and Chelsea. He’s an alumni of our award winning speech and debate program at RHS and I met him through my current students who are working on his campaign. He’s the clear progressive in the race on immigration, BLM, transit, health care, and affordable housing. His opponent is the cousin of the current incumbent, who’s voted in lockstep with the leadership her entire tenure.
Joe is endorsed by PM, MA Sierra Club, Sunrise, ACT, SEIU 32BJ, my union the MTA, the BTU, Operating Engineers Local 4, and the bricklayers whom I had the privilege to campaign with on Joes behalf two weekends ago. He’s the only guy I know who can bring cigar chomping/chopper riding bricklayers together with WEE, the Latinx/Muslim parent coalition in Revere.
Additional challengers listed below from Statehouse News:
Seventeen Democratic members of the House face primary challengers, including Second Assistant House Majority Leader Paul Donato of Medford, Housing Committee Co-chair Kevin Honan of Allston, Election Laws Committee Co-chair John Lawn of Watertown, and Revenue Committee Co-chair Mark Cusack of Braintree.