Several area legislators will get a free ride in the November election after few challengers emerged to run this year.
State Rep. George Ross, R-Attleboro; Rep. Steve Howitt, R-Seekonk; and Sen. James Timilty, D-Walpole, have opponents, but the rest of the Statehouse delegation will cruise to re-election.
State Reps. Betty Poirier, R-North Attleboro; Jay Barrows, R-Mansfield; Dan Winslow, R-Norfolk; Louis Kafka, D-Sharon; and Sen. Richard Ross, R-Wrentham, have no opposition.
The situation is the same across the state, where few incumbents have challengers. Most races with multiple candidates are in districts where the incumbent is retiring.
The 3rd Middlesex District has seven candidates, while the 2nd Essex has four running for state representative.
Barrows joked that no one is running against him because he is doing such a wonderful job.
Turning serious, he said he believes there is little opposition because local legislators have been accessible to constituents and have represented their interests.
He also said it seems the parties are marshalling their resources for the presidential, U.S. Senate and congressional races.
"It seems like everyone is focusing on the Elizabeth Warren race and the Barney Frank district and the presidential race," he said, referring to Warren's challenge to U.S. Sen. Scott Brown and the five candidates running to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Newton.
As for the contested races, Republican Jeff Bailey, a pastor at Grace Baptist Church in Attleboro, is running against Timilty, an incumbent Democrat.
George Ross, a freshman incumbent representing Attleboro, will face either Paul Heroux or Stephen Kane in November, depending on who wins the Democratic primary.
Another freshman Republican, Howitt, has a Democratic challenger in A. Keith Carreiro, a teacher from Swansea.
All of the candidates qualified for the ballot by submitting nominations papers to the Secretary of State's Office.