Election Debrief: 2022


SHS seniors Andrew Belson, Micheal Johnson and Victor Bowker hold signs for Patrick O’Connor

Anna Kelly, Opinion Editor

Citizens voted for county, state, and federal officials on Election Day 2022. While school is not held on election day, several high school students campaigned for their favorite candidates–especially since party control of the House and the Senate was on the line. Political analysts predicted an overwhelming “red wave,” a term used for Republican control of Congress when the Democrats control the presidency. 

Nationwide, top issues included inflation, abortion, and foreign policy with Russia. In the 8th Plymouth district, where Scituate is located, citizens care most about taxes, healthcare, jobs, and refugees, according to axios.com.

Surprisingly, the predicted “red wave” was practically nonexistent. Democrats maintained control of the Senate, even without Georgia’s results. In the House, Republicans will almost certainly take control, though by a much smaller margin than expected. 

In Massachusetts, the majority of positions stayed Democratic.

Maura Healey (D) was elected governor over Geoff Diehl (R), filling Charlie Baker’s vacated position. Notably, Healey is the first lesbian governor in national history. She wishes to “invest in housing, public transportation, the clean energy economy, and job training,” according to her website.

Governors are responsible for implementing state laws and overseeing the operation of the state executive branch. With a Democratic executive branch and Democratic Congress, Massachusetts becomes a trifecta with a supermajority—when one party has gubernatorial and congressional control, with ⅔ majority in each chamber. Previously, Massachusetts had been divided under Republican Charlie Baker. 

Andrea Campbell (D) won the Massachusetts attorney general election. The attorney general is the chief law enforcement officer of the state, representing public interest and counseling state legislatures. Campbell wishes to “look at every issue through an equity lens,” specifically regarding criminal justice and the wealth gap. She beat out Republican James McMahon, who was anti-vaccination mandates and anti-Sanctuary Cities. 

Incumbent William Galvin (D) was re-elected with nearly 70% of the vote as Secretary of State. Having served for 28 years, Galvin believes in election integrity, historical preservation, and the expansion of voting access. The Secretary of State’s role is as chief clerk of the state and the primary custodian of state records.

Deborah Goldberg (D), an incumbent treasurer, ran unopposed to maintain her position. MA treasurers manage the state’s public deposits and investments. 

Diana DiZoglio (D) plans to “fight for transparency and accountability” as an auditor. Her role is to ensure that businesses and organizations’ financial accounts are in-line with the law. DiZoglio is a current state senator for the First Essex District, having worked in Massachusetts politics for over 10 years. 

In a highly publicized battle for District Attorney, Tim Cruz (R)—a 20-year incumbent—pulled out on top over Rahsaan Hall (D). DA offices prosecute crime at a district level, so for Scituate, our local DA is of Plymouth County. Progressive Hall wanted to reduce cash bail and create a list of low-level “do-not-prosecute” crimes, which Cruz vehemently opposes. 

Cruz has been challenged for the position by Democrats in four out of his six terms, pulling on top each time. “We’re in an era where cases are going down, the people that are being incarcerated are going down,” Cruz said. “That means what you’re doing is working.”

Incumbent Patrick O’Connor (R) won his 4th term as a state senator, continuing his efforts to make Massachusetts “a better place to live, work, and raise a family.” He was challenged by Marshfield native Robert Stephens (D), who wanted to address homelessness and better the foster care system.

State Representative Patrick Kearney (D) ran unopposed. He represents the 8th Plymouth District in Massachusetts’ General Court, where Representatives and Senators consider new and existing statewide policies. Kearney has served for two terms, working on sea wall concerns and fishing industry strains. 

Incumbents have an advantage in many of these localized elections—they have higher name recognition and more experience in their roles. This can be positive, as experienced, well-known candidates are able to build on their progress. It can be negative as well, for new ideas aren’t as expressed when the old are continuously re-elected. 

The 2022 Elections were certainly interesting, though 2024 is when things will truly pick up the pace. With the House and Senate up for grabs again, and a heated presidential race, keep your eye on up-and-coming candidates.