The fall 2014 election season begins in earnest next week, as Vineyarders join voters statewide in going to the polls for the state primary.
Polls will be open in all Vineyard towns from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 9. Candidates in the primary are vying for spots in the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 4.
The key state race is for governor, with contested races for both parties. Gov. Deval Patrick is not running for re-election after two terms in office.
On the Republican primary ballot, Charles D. Baker and Mark R. Fisher are vying for the nomination. Mr. Fisher, a Shrewsbury resident, owns a metal manufacturing facility and is running on a Tea Party platform. He sued the state Republican party to get a spot on the ballot.
Mr. Baker is the former state Secretary of Finance and Administration and chief executive officer of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. He got his start in politics as a selectman in his hometown of Swampscott.
During a visit to the Vineyard in July, Mr. Baker said his priorities are fostering political and economic competition, improving the relationship between municipalities and the state, and building community.
Three candidates are on the ballot for the Democratic primary, including two with Vineyard ties.
Dr. Donald M. Berwick, a pediatrician who served for 17 months as director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services in Washington, D.C., has long been a seasonal Chilmark resident. In an appearance at a Martha’s Vineyard Democrats meeting in West Tisbury last December, he emphasized a patient-centered health care system, and said he is against casinos in Massachusetts.
Mr. Berwick joins Attorney General Martha Coakley and state Treasurer Steven Grossman on the Democratic ballot for governor.
Ms. Coakley, too, has Vineyard ties. Addressing Martha’s Vineyard Democrats last fall, she recalled living and working on the Island for a brief time before law school. Her sister Jane lives on the Island.
Ms. Coakley said she is focused on improving the economy, including raising the minimum wage, and strengthening schools.
Mr. Grossman also appeared on the Vineyard in the run-up to the election. He, too, emphasizes jobs, economic growth, and improving schools.
With Ms. Coakley running for governor, there is an attorney general race on the ballot. John B. Miller, a Winchester attorney who specializes in construction practice, is the only nominee on the Republican ticket.
On the Democratic side, former Assistant Attorney General Maura Healey will face former state Sen. Warren E. Tolman.
In other races, Cambridge City Councilor Leland Cheung, Stephen J. Kerrigan and Michael E. Lake are running on the Democratic ballot for lieutenant governor. The winner will likely face Karyn E. Polito, the sole Republican candidate, in November.
State Rep. Thomas P. Conroy, state Sen. Barry R. Finegold and former Brookline selectman Deborah B. Goldberg are running for state treasurer on the Democratic side, while Michael James Heffernan is running unopposed on the Republican ballot.
U.S. Sen. Edward J. Markey is running unopposed on the Democratic ballot. Brian J. Herr, a Hopkinton selectman who works in the commercial construction industry, is the only Republican candidate running to face Mr. Markey in the general election.
In more local races, ninth district U.S. Rep. William R. Keating, a Democrat, does not have a primary challenger. But there is a Republican race to run against him in the November election. The candidates are Mark C. Alliegro, a Falmouth town meeting member and senior scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole; Chatham resident John C. Chapman,a former White House aide and former employee of the enforcement division of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; Vincent A. Cogliano Jr. of Pembroke, a former selectman who operates a family Christmas tree farm, and Daniel L. Shores, a lawyer in Sandwich.
State Sen. Daniel A. Wolf and state Rep. Timothy R. Madden are both running unopposed on the Democratic ballot. There is no challenger on the Republican ballot for Mr. Madden’s seat.
Ronald R. Beaty Jr. of Barnstable, a Tea Party candidate and former Barnstable town meeting member, and Allen R. Waters, an investment consultant from Mashpee, are running on the Republican ballot for the Cape and Islands state senate seat.
Cape and Islands district attorney Michael D. O’Keefe is running unopposed on the Republican ballot. Richard G. Barry, a former Barnstable town councilor, is running on the Democratic ballot to challenge Mr. O’Keefe in November.
There are a few Vineyard races on the state primary ballot, none contested. This includes Dukes County commissioner; incumbents John S. Alley, Leon Arthur Brathwaite 2nd and David Jeffrey Holway are running on the Democratic ballot. There are no Republican candidates. There are seven seats on the county commission.
Incumbent Elizabeth J. Herrmann is running again for Dukes County register of probate without opposition from either party. There are no candidates on either primary ballot for county treasurer.
According to the secretary of state, there are 14,242 registered voters in Dukes County as of August 20. About 36 per cent are registered Democrats, 10 per cent are registered Republicans and 53 per cent are unenrolled.
Polling places on Tuesday are the Aquinnah town offices, the Chilmark Community Center, the Edgartown town hall, the Oak Bluffs public library, the emergency services building in Vineyard Haven, and the West Tisbury public safety building.