John C. Velis Fills Vacant Massachusetts Senate Seat

A recent special election for the 2nd Hampden & Hampshire District in the Massachusetts Senate was held to fill a vacant seat. Former Senator Donald Humason, who previously held the seat, resigned from the Legislature to become the Mayor of Westfield. The District includes Agawam, Easthampton, Granville, Holyoke, Montgomery, Russell, Southampton, Southwick, Tolland and four precincts in Chicopee. It has been without a Senator for nearly five months. There are over 356 million in credit union assets in the district serving over 37,000 Massachusetts consumers.

In the election, State Representative John C. Velis, (D-Westfield) defeated John F. Cain, (R-Southwick), a candidate for Congress last year, to fill the seat. The original election date was scheduled for March, but the Senate postponed it to May, as the coronavirus outbreak arrived and Governor Charlie Baker’s stay-at-home advisory was issued. The race was unique for both the region and the candidates. Campaigning during the unprecedented coronavirus voided rallies, standouts, debates and almost every visible element of elections except for yard signs. Voting was not business as usual as masked campaign volunteers held signs while standing six feet apart and poll workers wore face coverings and pushed hand sanitizer. The Senate seat will be up for election again in November and both Velis and Cain have pledged to run again.

During his service in the Massachusetts House, Representative Velis served on the Joint Committee on Financial Services amongst his committee responsibilities. He introduced legislation to address elder financial abuse and student loan debt.

Today, a State House swearing-in ceremony led by Governor Charlie Baker will take place to swear in Senator-elect John Velis. Also scheduled to take office is Susan Moran (D-Falmouth) serving the Plymouth and Barnstable District.

Senator-Elect Moran fills the seat formerly held by former Senator Vinny deMacedo, who resigned to take a job at Bridgewater State University, and will be the first Cape Cod resident to hold the seat in more than three decades. Moran is an attorney and Falmouth Select Board member and defeated James “Jay” McMahon III (R-Bourne). The District includes the communities of Falmouth, Plymouth, Bourne, Pembroke, Kingston and Sandwich. The election had also been delayed for nearly two months due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

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