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Massachusetts general election, 1990

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Massachusetts general election, 1990

A Massachusetts general election was held on November 6, 1990 in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The election included:

Democratic and Republican candidates were selected in party primaries held September 19, 1990.

Statewide elections

United States Senator

Democratic incumbent John Kerry was re-elected over Republican Jim Rappaport.

Governor & Lieutenant Governor

Republicans William Weld and Paul Cellucci were elected Governor and Lieutenant Governor, respectively, over Democratic candidates John Silber and Marjorie Clapprood. Weld's victory was the first for a Republican since 1970.

Attorney General

Democrat Scott Harshbarger was elected Attorney General. He defeated incumbent James Shannon in the Democratic primary and Republican William C. Sawyer in the general election.

Massachusetts Attorney General Democratic Primary, 1990 [1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Scott Harshbarger 533,481 53.56%
Democratic James Shannon 462,296 46.41%
Write-in 253 0.03%
Massachusetts Attorney General Republican Primary, 1990 [2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican William C. Sawyer 199,567 52.73%
Republican Guy Carbone 178,669 47.21%
Write-in 231 0.00%
Massachusetts Attorney General Election, 1990 [3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Scott Harshbarger 1,442,359 64.06%
Republican William C. Sawyer 808,398 35.90%
Write-in 783 0.04%

Secretary of the Commonwealth

Incumbent Secretary of the Commonwealth Michael J. Connolly defeated Republican Paul McCarthy and Independent Barbara F. Ahearn in the general election.

Former Celtics star Dave Cowens entered the race as a Republican, but because he did not register by June 5, 1989, he was unable to appear on the primary ballot and dropped out.[4][5]

Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth Elect ion, 1990 [6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Michael J. Connolly 1,011,303 45.88%
Republican Paul McCarthy 844,085 38.29%
Independent High Tech Barbara F. Ahearn 347,703 15.77%
Write-in 1,129 0.05%

Treasurer and Receiver-General

Incumbent Treasurer and Receiver-General Robert Q. Crane did not run for re-election. Republican Joe Malone defeated Democrat State Representative William F. Galvin and Independent C. David Nash in the general election.

Massachusetts Treasurer and Receiver-General Democratic Primary, 1990 [7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic William F. Galvin 489,512 50.98%
Democratic George Keverian 287,626 29.95%
Democratic Richard A. Kraus 182,715 19.03%
Write-in 436 0.05%
Massachusetts Treasurer and Receiver-General Election, 1990 [8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Joe Malone 1,298,521 57.24%
Democratic William F. Galvin 825,808 36.41%
Independent High Tech C. David Nash 143,324 6.32%
Write-in 753 0.03%


Democrat A. Joseph DeNucci was re-elected Auditor. He defeated Republican Douglas J. Murray and Independent candidate Steven K. Sherman.

Massachusetts Auditor Election, 1990 [9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic A. Joseph DeNucci 1,187,241 54.66%
Republican Douglas J. Murray 801,116 36.88%
Independent High Tech Steven K. Sherman 183,136 8.43%
Write-in 607 0.03%

Ballot questions

Question 1

Proposed Amendment to the Constitution – The proposed constitutional amendment would repeal the constitutional provision that a state census be taken and used as the basis for determining state representative, senatorial, and councilor districts. The proposed constitutional amendment would provide that the federal census shall be the basis for determining such districts. [10]

Proposed Legislative Amendment to the Constitution [11]
Candidate Votes % ±%
Yes 1,731,341 78.29%
No 479,999 21.71%

Question 2

Law Proposed by Initiative Petition - The proposed law would place restrictions on the State’s use of consultants. It would place various limits on the amount of profit, overhead charges and expenses that the State could pay consultants. It would limit the duration of consultant contracts to two years and any extension to one year, and it would limit the degree to which such contracts could be changed to require payments in excess of the original contract. The proposed law would limit to $100,000 the amount the State could pay on a consultant contract with an individual and would require all other consultant contracts in excess of $25,000 to be sought through competitive bidding. It would prohibit consultants from supervising State employees, and it would limit the use of consultants as substitutes for State employee positions. [12]

Law Proposed by Initiative Petition [13]
Candidate Votes % ±%
Yes 1,038,174 45.64%
No 1,236,739 54.36%

Question 3

Law Proposed by Initiative Petition – The proposed law would changed the state income tax rate, affect language contained in certain tax provisions, and regulate the setting of fees by state agencies and authorities. [14]

Law Proposed by Initiative Petition [15]
Candidate Votes % ±%
Yes 935,337 40.09%
No 1,397,542 59.91%

Question 4

Law Proposed by Initiative Petition – This proposed law would change the state election laws governing the establishment of political parties and the nomination of candidates. [16]

Law Proposed by Initiative Petition [17]
Candidate Votes % ±%
Yes 1,134,535 52.46%
No 1,027,966 47.54%

Question 5

Law Proposed by Initiative Petition – This proposed law would regulate the distribution to cities and towns of the Local Aid Fund, which consists of at least 40% of the revenue generated by the state income, sales, and corporate taxes, as well as the balance of the State Lottery Fund. [18]

Law Proposed by Initiative Petition [19]
Candidate Votes % ±%
Yes 1,242,270 56.68%
No 949,561 43.32%


  1. ^
  2. ^ Massachusetts Election Statistics 1990. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Sports Extra: People". Daily News of Los Angeles. January 14, 1990. 
  5. ^ Lehigh, Scot (February 23, 1990). "Ex-Celtic Cowens Bows Out of GOP Race for Secretary of State". Boston Globe. Retrieved 20 April 2011. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Massachusetts Election Statistics 1990. 
  11. ^ Massachusetts Election Statistics 1990. 
  12. ^ Massachusetts Election Statistics 1990. 
  13. ^ Massachusetts Election Statistics 1990. 
  14. ^ Massachusetts Election Statistics 1990. 
  15. ^ Massachusetts Election Statistics 1990. 
  16. ^ Massachusetts Election Statistics 1990. 
  17. ^ Massachusetts Election Statistics 1990. 
  18. ^ Massachusetts Election Statistics 1990. 
  19. ^ Massachusetts Election Statistics 1990. 
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