Shepard tops Sousa in number of district contributors to date


Sharon Machlis


August 30, 2022

Margareth Shepard has topped Priscila Sousa in number of local campaign contributors within the 6th Middlesex House district so far this calendar year, according to an analysis of data from the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance. (Note: None of District 2 is in the 6th Middlesex House district, but that’s the only interesting local primary race on the ballot; more on that below.)

Shepard has received campaign contributions from 44 different people residing within the district while Sousa has received 37. Latest data is through Aug. 28 for Shepard and Aug. 24 for Sousa.

Dhruba Sen received 7 such contributions. He announced he was dropping out of the primary at the end of a candidates forum – after taking up his full allotted time – and endorsed Sousa, according to media and social media reports.

If all of Sen’s supporters were indeed to fully back Sousa, though, number of local contributors would be an exact tie at 44 each.

Why look at number of contributors within the district, and not number of contributions in the district (I de-dupe if someone has given more than once), amount of money raised within the district, or anything outside the district?

My theory is that for a relatively low turnout election, which local preliminary elections and off-presidential-year primaries tend to be, number of contributors who likely can vote in the election are a decent if imperfect signal of people who are motivated enough to turn out.

Number of in-district contributors has proven to be a decent predictor in local City Council and mayoral races. This is the first time I’ve tried using it in a state representative primary, though, where a lot of voters may be turning out for state-wide races like lieutenant governor or attorney general and not mostly for the state rep race. Voters not motivated by the specific local race are a big wild card. I guess we’ll see how this metric does as a predictor next Tuesday.


As I mentioned at the outset, District 2 isn’t in the new 6th Middlesex House District, but that incumbent-free district isn’t too far away; and since it’s the only local primary race of interest, I decided to take a dive into some of its campaign contribution data. All of our District 2 precincts are now in the 7th Middlesex District currently represented by Jack Patrick Lewis. Lewis is running unopposed in the Democratic primary and there is no one on the ballot on the Republican side.

Former Framingham City Councilor Margareth Shepard and current Framingham School Committee Chair Priscila Sousa are vying for the Democratic nomination in next week’s primary. Dhruba Sen remains on the ballot after announcing his withdrawal. There is no candidate on the GOP ballot.

Both Shepard and Sousa are known in the community, are running serious campaigns (each has raised more than $20,000), and have garnered endorsements from people well known in the city and beyond.

Shepard is backed by Rep. Lewis, former Rep. Pam Richardson, and District 2 City Councilor Cesar Stewart-Morales, among others. Sousa is supported by Councilors George P. King Jr., Philip Ottaviani Jr., and John Stefanini, among others.

The 6th Middlesex was drawn up by state legislators as one of several new “majority-minority” districts. There is no incumbent.

Voting Information

If you are voting by mail and haven’t yet returned your ballot, you can return your ballot locally by mail or at the secure ballot drop box in front of the McAuliffe Library any time between now and 8 p.m. Tuesday, September 6. (There’s also a ballot drop box downtown outside City Hall.)

In-person early voting is only available downtown at City Hall (Nevins Hall in the Memorial Building, 150 Concord St.) tomorrow (Wednesday, Aug. 31) from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 1 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Friday, Sept. 2 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. There is no in-person early voting anywhere on the north side.

Polls are open on primary Election Day Tuesday, Sept. 6 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. District 2 Precincts 25 and 26 vote at Walsh Middle School. Precinct 27 votes at the King School. And yes it’s true that even though not one but two polling sites are located within Precinct 25 – Potter Road School and the King School – Precinct 25 voters need to vote at a more distant location outside the precinct.

Framingham residents can check your precinct number at Anyone in Massachusetts can search for your voting information including polling location and sample ballots at

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