Candidate challenges nonexistent thus far; GOP still hopes win by Brown pays off.

Position:NEWS
 
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Byline: John J. Monahan

The following correction was published in the Sunday Telegram on March 21, 2010:

Candidates for state senator and state representative have until April 27 to return nomination papers. Because of a reporter's error, the deadline was incorrect in last week's Sunday Telegram.

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BOSTON - A surge in Republican challenges to incumbent Democratic state legislators expected by some after Scott Brown's win in the U.S. Senate race in January has not quite materialized. All but one legislator from Worcester is running unopposed so far.

With one month to go before the deadline for party candidates to file nomination papers to get on the ballot for state Senate and House seats, the two Senate Democrats from Worcester, Harriette L. Chandler and Michael O. Moore, have no opponents.

Also unopposed so far are Democratic Sens. Jennifer L. Flanagan of Leominster and Richard T. Moore of Uxbridge, according to a list of candidates taking out nomination papers as reported to the Secretary of State's office through last week.

Meanwhile, of the four incumbent Democratic House members seeking re-election from Worcester, John J. Binienda, James J. O'Day and John P. Fresolo remain unopposed. The fourth, Vincent A. Pedone, is also unopposed so far, but one Republican, Todd Williams of Worcester, has taken out, but not yet returned, nomination papers to contest that seat.

Others unopposed so far in the House are Democrats Stephen L. DiNatale of Fitchburg, John Fernandez of Milford and Dennis A. Rosa of Leominster, and Republicans George N. Peterson Jr. of Grafton, Paul K. Frost of Auburn and Todd Smola of Palmer.

The trend holds across the state as well, where 75 incumbent members of the House are, so far, unopposed and 61 are facing possible challengers. Competitive elections are expected in most of the 22 seats where incumbent House members are not seeking re-election, with some retiring and others going for other offices.

Among those unopposed are the heads of both legislative chambers, Senate President Therese Murray, D-Plymouth, and House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, D-Winthrop.

GOP State Chairman Jennifer Nassour said while many Democratic legislative seats may go unchallenged, there are far more Republican candidates running for the Legislature than in 2008 when only about 30 ran. Now, she said, "all but 75 seats" in the 160 member House are being challenged. "My plan was never to challenge every...

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