Pat Jehlen wins senate primary

In a drubbing, Jehlen received nearly 80 percent of the vote.

Photo: Pat Jehlen. (Wikimedia Commons)

Patricia Jehlen, state senator for the Second Middlesex District, won her Democratic primary against challenger Leland Cheung on Thursday. Results show Jehlen with over 15,000 votes. Cheung received just under 4,000.

Jehlen carried Medford, Winchester, Cambridge and Somerville handily. Cheung didn’t receive a majority of votes in any precinct in the district.

Media coverage of hundreds of thousands of dollars of independent spending by the Massachusetts Teachers Association, the union for more than 100,000 teachers across the state, and the pro-charter group Democrats for Education Reform turned many eyes in the state towards the race. Jehlen debated a senior DFER official on the Friday before the election, sparking greater attention and media coverage.

A Boston Globe article said the contest was a proxy for November’s charter school ballot question contest. Jehlen is an opponent of lifting the cap on the number of charter schools. During the campaign, Cheung supported voting in favor of Question 2, which would lift the charter cap.

Jehlen specifically rejected this narrative during her victory speech at Aeronaut Brewing Company on Thursday night. A decades-long social movement pushed her to victory, she said in her speech, adding that it would be impossible without the help and work of thousands of her colleagues, friends and supporters.

She also thanked her campaign staff, including Matt McLaughlin, campaign manager and Somerville alderman, and Charlotte Kelly, her field director and recent UMass Amherst graduate who directed the campaign’s get-out-the-vote machine.

Results from all Massachusetts races are available on CBS Boston.

Zac Bears can be reached at

Winners from other districts:

4th Worcester House, Democrat (Leominster): Natalie Higgins, 51%, 1475 votes, +38 vote margin

3rd Hampshire House, Democrat (Amherst): Solomon Goldstein-Rose, 34%, 1779 votes, +577 vote margin

Cape and Islands Senate, Democrat: Julian Cyr, 54%, 9262 votes, +2788 vote margin

26th Middlesex House, Democrat (Cambridge): Mike Connolly, 54%, 2926 votes, +394 vote margin

Norfolk, Bristol and Plymouth Senate, Democrat (Canton/Milton/West Bridgewater): Walter Timilty, 56%, 8047 votes, +1785 vote margin


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