Byline: John J. Monahan
Ten state representatives from Central Massachusetts still face no visible opposition two weeks before the state election filing deadline, but challenges are lining up against 11 others and for each of the region's state Senate and congressional seats.
Election 2012 will feature the presidential race with expected Republican nominee former Gov. Mitt Romney against President Barack Obama and a big money U.S. Senate race between Republican incumbent Scott Brown and likely Democrat Elizabeth Warren.
Further down the ballot intensive campaigning is expected for legislative power at the local level with incumbents running within new district boundaries put in place in last year's redistricting.
Two Democrats, two Republicans and one unenrolled candidate have taken out nomination papers and are considering challenges to U.S. Rep. James P. McGovern, D-Worcester, who is seeking an eighth term in Congress as a candidate in the redrawn 2nd Congressional District.
The challengers are Republicans Robert L. Potvan of Ware and Richard Eustis of Northboro, Democrats William Feegbeh of Boston, and Louis R. Guiot of Worcester and unenrolled candidate Patrick Barron of Worcester, who finished third against Mr. McGovern in 2010.
Candidates for the U.S. House have until May 8 to submit nomination papers with 2,000 signatures to get onto the ballot.
Democrats Andrea Nucifero Jr. of Pittsfield and William Shein of Alford, as well as Republican Jeff P. Donnelly of Springfield have taken out papers for possible challenges to U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, D-Springfield, who is running for his 12th term in Congress.
Three Republicans have taken papers to challenge U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas, D-Lowell. They are Jonathan Golnik of Carlisle, Thomas J.M. Weaver of Westford and Everett Jabour.
All six Democratic state senators from the region are seeking re-election and are facing potential challenges. Candidates must file 300 signatures with nomination papers by May 1 to qualify for the ballot.
Republican Dominic King of Worcester is considering a run against state Sen. Harriette L. Chandler, D-Worcester. Republican Dean Cavaretta of Acton has taken out papers out for a possible run against state Sen. James B. Eldridge, D-Acton.
Republican Stephen R. Simonian of Auburn is challenging state Sen. Michael O. Moore of Millbury and Republican John Pulaski has papers out for a possible run against state Sen. Richard T. Moore of Uxbridge.
State Sen. Stephen M...