By STEVE LeBLANC and BOB SALSBERG, Associated Press
BOSTON (AP) — Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, weighing a possible White House run, defeated two challengers Tuesday, while Republican Gov. Charlie Baker won a second term in Massachusetts.
Voters in the state election were also deciding a slew of congressional races and three ballot initiatives, including one asking whether Massachusetts should keep protections for transgender people.
Warren, who turned aside Republican state Rep. Geoff Diehl and independent candidate Shiva Ayyadurai, has seen her national profile soar as a leader of the liberal wing of Democratic Party, in part because of her frequent Twitter clashes with President Donald Trump.
For Warren, who won a second six-year term, attention will quickly turn to the 2020 election. She has promised to take “a hard look” at a presidential run.
In the race for governor, Democrat Jay Gonzalez was trying to topple the Republican Baker, who remains popular in Massachusetts and maintained a lopsided fundraising edge. Trump wasn’t on the ballot but has surfaced in debates.
Baker has kept his distance from the Republican president and has said he probably won’t vote for Trump if he’s on the ballot.
Warren tied Diehl to Trump. Diehl served as co-chairman of Trump’s 2016 Massachusetts campaign.
Voting Tuesday in Cambridge, Warren played down the Trump factor, telling reporters: “I try to stay focused on the issues, not on division and hate.”
Trump appears to be a motivating factor to some voters.
Joe Robinson, a 62-year-old Episcopal priest from Cambridge, said he was driven to vote to combat the “negativity” of the Trump administration.
“I would like to see the country back at a place where conversation is respected and it’s something that we work toward, we don’t shush each other,” he said.
He voted for Warren and Democratic Rep. Katherine Clark.
Madeleine Schulman, a writer from Brookline, hopes Democrats retake the House to provide a check on
Trump, whose rhetoric she called “dangerous.”
“As a woman, as a Jewish person, as a mom, I’m pretty shaken by some of the things that have gone on,” said Schulman, who voted Democratic down the ballot.
Michael Fix, who became a U.S. citizen earlier this year and participated in his first U.S. election Tuesday, criticized Trump’s treatment of women and his aversion to compromise.
Democratic Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley, who made national headlines by defeating Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano in the primary, faced no opposition on Tuesday. Incumbent
Democratic House members Richard Neal, Joe Kennedy and Stephen Lynch were also running unopposed.
Four other incumbents in the state’s all-Democrat congressional delegation — Reps. Jim McGovern, Katherine Clark, Seth Moulton and Bill Keating — are facing challengers.
In the state’s one open race, Republican Rick Green, Democrat Lori Trahan and independent Mike Mullen were vying for the seat being vacated by Democratic Rep. Niki Tsongas.
There were also three questions on the ballot including proposals to mandate specific nurse-to-patient ratios in hospitals and create a citizens commission aimed at undoing the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling.
A third question seeks to overturn the state’s 2016 law that protects transgender people from discrimination in public accommodations and allows them to use the bathroom or locker room that matches their gender identity.
For AP’s complete coverage of the U.S. midterm elections: http://apne.ws/APPolitics