Massachusetts gubernatorial election, 2002: Wikis


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1998 Massachusetts 2006
Massachusetts gubernatorial election, 2002
November 5, 2002
Mitt Romney.jpg Replace this image female.svg
Candidate Mitt Romney Shannon O'Brien
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 1,091,988 985,981
Percentage 49.77% 44.94%

Incumbent Governor
Jane Swift

Mitt Romney

Every four years, Massachusetts holds state-wide elections for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of the Commonwealth, State Treasurer, and Auditor.



In 2002, Republican Lieutenant Governor Jane Swift was expected to campaign for the governor's office. Swift had served as acting governor after Republican Governor Paul Cellucci resigned upon being appointed U.S. Ambassador to Canada. Swift was viewed as an unpopular executive, and her administration was plagued by political missteps and personal scandals.[1] Many Republicans viewed her as a liability and considered her unable to win a general election against a Democrat.[2] Prominent GOP activists campaigned to persuade Romney to run for governor.[3] One poll taken at this time showed that Republicans favored Romney over Swift by more than 50 percentage points.[4] Swift decided not to seek her party's nomination.

Massachusetts Democratic Party officials claimed that Romney was ineligible to run for governor, citing residency issues. The Massachusetts Constitution requires seven consecutive years of residency prior to a run for office. Romney claimed residency in Utah from 1999 to 2002, during his time as president of the Salt Lake City Olympic Committee. In 1999 he listed himself as a part-time Massachusetts resident.[5] The Massachusetts Democratic Party filed a complaint with the Massachusetts State Ballot Law Commission, which eventually ruled that Romney was eligible to run for office. The ruling was not challenged in court.[6]


Shannon O'Brien won the Democratic gubernatorial primary in 2002, defeating Senate President Thomas Birmingham, former Democratic National Committee and AIPAC chair Steven Grossman, former United States Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, and former nominee for lieutenant governor Warren Tolman.


Supporters of Romney hailed his business record, especially his success with the 2002 Olympics, as that of one who would be able to bring a new era of efficiency into Massachusetts politics.[7] Romney contributed $6.3 million to his own campaign during the election, a state record at the time.[8]


Romney was elected Governor in November 2002 with 50 percent of the vote over O'Brien, who received 45 percent of the vote.[9] Other candidates included Dr. Jill Stein (J), Carla Howell (L), and Barbara Johnson (I). Kerry Healey was elected Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts. She defeated Chris Gabrieli, Tony Lorenzen, Rich Aucoin, and Joe Schebel.

Massachusetts gubernatorial election, 2002
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Mitt Romney
(Kerry Healey)
1,091,988 49.77 - 1.04
Democratic Shannon O'Brien
(Chris Gabrieli)
985,981 44.94 - 2.44
Green-Rainbow Jill Stein
(Tony Lorenzen)
76,530 3.49 + 3.49
Libertarian Carla Howell
(Rich Aucoin)
23,044 1.05 - 0.64
Independent Barbara C. Johnson
(Joe Schebel)
15,335 0.70 + 0.70
Write-in All others 1,301 0.06 -.05
Total votes 2,194,179 55.23%% + 4.04
Blank 6,122
Turnout 2,220,301
Majority 106,007 4.83%
Republican hold Swing + 1.40

Other races

Massachusetts Attorney General Election, 2002
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Thomas Reilly 1,602,817 99.24
Write-in 12,326 0.76
Turnout 1,615,143
Democratic hold Swing
Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth Election, 2002
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic William F. Galvin 1,472,562 73.97
Republican Jack E. Robinson III 516,260 25.93
Write-in 1,832 0.09
Turnout 1,990,654
Democratic hold Swing
Massachusetts State Treasurer Election, 2002
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Timothy P. Cahill 1,040,281 50.66
Republican Daniel Grabauskas 848,904 41.34
Green-Rainbow James O'Keefe 163,559 7.96
Write-in 830 0.04
Turnout 2,053,574
Democratic hold Swing
Massachusetts Auditor Election, 2002
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic A. Joseph DeNucci 1,456,880 77.96
Libertarian Kamal Jain 133,997 7.17
Independent John James Xenakis 277,974 14.87
Write-in 2,065 0.11
Turnout 1,868,851
Democratic hold Swing


  1. ^ Associated Press. "Massachusetts's first female governor takes office, under heavy statewide scrutiny" The Daily Texan, April 11, 2001; retrieved October 29, 2006.
  2. ^ Frank, Mitch."Jane Swift Takes One For the Team:The Massachusetts GOP took a risk by choosing Mitt Romney over the more progressive Swift. Will their decision come back to haunt them?" Time Magazine, March 21, 2002; retrieved October 29, 2006.
  3. ^ Berwick Jr., Bob and Roch, Lisa Riley. "Boston GOP beseeching Mitt: But hero of S.L. Games is coy about his future" Deseret News, February 22, 2002; retrieved November 1, 2006.
  4. ^ "Swift exits, Romney joins Mass. governor's race" Cable News Network, March 19, 2002; retrieved October 30, 2006.
  5. ^ Mcelhenny, John (Associated Press)"Romney defends right to run for governor" Portsmouth Herald", Tuesday, June 18, 2002, retrieved November 1, 2006.
  6. ^ Belluck, Pam. "Massachusetts Ballot Panel Allows Race By Republican" New York Times (Abstract) (Page A-17, Col. 4), June 26, 2002, retrieved November 1, 2006.
  7. ^ "Vote 2002: Massachusetts Governor's Race" PBS Online News Hour (No Date); retrieved November 1, 2006.
  8. ^ "Gabrieli surpasses spending record" Brian C. Mooney Boston Globe; August 22, 2006, Retrieved November 20, 2006.
  9. ^ "2002 Election Results, Governor" '; retrieved November 1, 2006.

External links



See also


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