Two women and two men, all Democrats, have been certified to appear on the ballot in the Sept. 1 primary election to choose a successor for state Rep. Dan Cullinane in the 12th Suffolk District.
The candidates who turned in the required number of voter signatures are Cameron Charbonnier, Stephanie Everett, Brandy Fluker-Oakley, and Jovan Lacet.
The Supreme Judicial Court last month cut the number of names candidates needed to qualify for the ballot in half, from 150 to 75, citing the extra difficulties posed by social distancing measures.
The high court’s decision also gave those running for district or county offices an extra eight days – from April 28 to May 5 – to gather and file their names.
Charbonnier, a Dorchester resident and a longtime aide to Mayor Walsh, officially launched his campaign on Tuesday. He told the Reporter that his campaign had turned in more than 200 signatures just a few days before the SJC’s decision was announced, receiving confirmation that he “would be certified on the ballot just a few hours before the decision came down."
“I am really happy to not only say I have turned in my signatures and have secured a place on the ballot, but that I’ve eagerly begun to campaign in this unique environment,” said Charbonnier.
Fluker-Oakley, a Mattapan attorney who officially announced her campaign last week, said she was able to collect signatures while social distancing.
“I am excited to officially be on the ballot,” she said on Monday. “It took a lot of creativity, but I was able to lean on my longstanding roots in the community to collect and submit over 200 signatures while practicing social distancing.
“As state representative,” Fluker-Oakley added, “I will take my experiences – in our schools, our courts, and our community to fight for economic opportunity and small business creation in our neighborhoods, high quality education for our students, criminal justice reform, and equitable access to housing for seniors and families.”
“The outpouring of support from so many neighbors was truly incredible,” she added, “and we have some exciting plans to connect new technology and good old-fashioned campaigning to empower residents on the campaign.”
In a statement sent to the Reporter on Tuesday, Everett, a Mattapan-based attorney, said, “The backbone of this campaign is our community. I’m looking forward to meeting every voter in the safest way possible to hear folks’ concerns, talk about solutions, and work together to drive the policies that will revitalize our community post-Covid19.
“We have to ensure that our youth don’t fall through the cracks, that our neighbors remain in their homes, and that our local and regional economy rebounds with equity and opportunity for all,” she added.
Lacet, who has run unsuccessfully for the seat in the last two cycles, called the SJC decision unfair just weeks ago. He told the Reporter that he already collected well in excess of 150 signatures in February and March, before coronavirus restrictions began.
“I want to thank the 500 plus people who signed my nomination papers. I’ve been a certified candidate on the ballot since March 11,” he said.
The primary will, in effect, pick the next state representative for the 12th Suffolk, which includes parts of Dorchester, Mattapan, Hyde Park, and Milton.
The other draw on the Sept. 1 ballot for Democrats will be a hotly contested, head-to-head race between incumbent US Senator Edward Markey and his challenger, US Rep. Joe Kennedy III.
US Rep. Stephen Lynch also faces a challenge from two opponents running as Democrats as he seeks a tenth term in the US House. Massachusetts General Hospital physician Robbie Goldstein and Mohammad Dar, a doctor from Jamaica Plain, are seeking to unseat Lynch. A third candidate, Brianna Wu, dropped out of the race last month.
State Sen. Nick Collins has been certified for the ballot and may face a challenger for his First Suffolk seat, which includes South Boston, along with parts of Dorchester, Hyde Park and Mattapan. Secretary of State William Galvin’s office says that Samuel H. Pierce of Boston has also gathered enough signatures for the ballot. Both Collins and Pierce must still file state Ethics Commission receipts to make the ballot officially.
Rep. Russell Holmes, who has held the 6th Suffolk District seat since 2011, told the Reporter this week that he has made the ballot to run for re-election.
Rep. Dan Hunt, who has represented the 13th Suffolk since 2014, also said he “turned in well over the amount of signatures to the secretary of state,” securing his spot on the Sept. 1 ballot. Rep. Liz Miranda in the Fifth Suffolk and Rep. David Biele in the Fourth Suffolk have also made the ballot for re-election with no apparent opposition.
The general election is scheduled for Nov. 3, the same day as the presidential election.
Editor's note, 5/14/20: Due to incorrect information from a source at the Secretary of State's office, the following was redacted from the original article.
"Debra O’Malley, a spokesperson for the Secretary of State’s office confirmed Tuesday that Charbonnier has filed enough signatures to be on the ballot, “but still needs to file [a] receipt from the Ethics Commission.” Candidates have until June 2 to file the receipt."
Charbonnier had filed his receipt and the formerly reported issue has been resolved.