After Election, State Reps. Have Issues to Tackle in State House

John Lawn, left, won re-election to his sixth term as 10th Middlesex State Representative, while Steve Owens won his first election to be the State Rep. for the 29th Middlesex District. With the long campaign and election day behind them, Watertown’s two state representatives now have some work to do in the State House. They face issues that arose from the COVID-19 pandemic, along with those around before the shutdown. Beacon Hill is familiar territory for John Lawn, who will be entering his sixth term as the 10th Middlesex State Representative. The impacts of the pandemic will be his top concern.

Owens, Lawn Win in Watertown State Rep. Races

After Tuesday’s election, Watertown has one new State Representative and one returning to the State House. In the three way race for the 29th Middlesex seat, former chair of the Democratic Town Committee Steve Owens took nearly 60 percent of the vote. He received 7,602 votes, or 61 percent, in the district that includes most of Watertown and part of Cambridge. Town Council President Mark Sideris got nearly 24 percent, with 2,972, and consultant David Ciccarelli got about 15 percent (1,851 votes). In Watertown, Owens got 4,148 votes, or 60 percent of the vote, while Sideris got 25 percent (1,757 votes), and Ciccarelli got 1,091 votes (15 percent).

VOTER GUIDE: Busy State Primary Includes Watertown State. Rep Races

Tuesday’s ballot is one of the most crowded for a State Primary in years for Watertown voters, with contested races on which both the Democratic and Republican candidates can vote, including state representative. The polls will be open from 7 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020. Democrats in all parts of Watertown have a contested race for State Representative. The 29th Middlesex, which covers about three quarters of town, has an open seat with incumbent Jonathan Hecht stepping down.

LETTER: Former Town Councilor Backs State Rep. Candidate

Dear Voter,

I write with pleasure to endorse Steve Owens to represent the 29th Middlesex District, the seat that is being vacated by Rep Jonathan Hecht. Rep Hecht has been a progressive legislator and a great friend. I have total confidence that Steve will continue Jon’s path. Steve was a critical team member in my campaigns for Town Council. He resuscitated a moribund Watertown Democratic Town Committee and it has become known as one of the most dynamic groups in the state.

Early Voting Lighter in Watertown, Mail-In Ballots Pouring In

Voting in 2020 will look quite a bit different due to the COVID-19 outbreak, with safety measures for in-person voters and many ballots coming in by mail or hand delivered to Town Hall. Midway through the early voting period for the Sept. 1 State Primary, the numbers of people voting is significantly down, said Watertown Town Clerk John Flynn, but thousands of mail-in ballots have come in. The primary includes the race for U.S. Senate for both Democrats and Republicans, and for the Dems there is a race for State Representative. Click on the links to see more about the candidates for the 29th Middlesex race (Pcts.

LETTER: Town Councilor Endorses State Rep. Candidate

Dear Voter,

It is with great enthusiasm that I join Representative Hecht in endorsing Steve Owens as the next Representative for the 29th Middlesex District. I urge you to join us in voting for Steve in the Democratic primary election on Tuesday, September 1. I have known Steve for nearly twenty years and we have worked together on many local, state, and national political campaigns during that time. I have benefited from his wisdom and political acumen as he has served on my campaign committee since 2009. A long-time Watertown resident, Steve is credited with revitalizing the Watertown Democratic Town Committee and has served as its Chair for the last twelve years. He also has twice won election to the Democratic State Committee.  

I am supporting Steve and asking you to do the same because he is a progressive activist and proven leader ready to take on the many challenges facing Massachusetts. As our State Representative he will champion the issues that the Legislature must address with a commitment to transparency and equity. 

He will join other progressive legislators in supporting policies that combat climate change and create environmental sustainability. He will be an advocate for affordable housing for tenants and homeowners and for public education from pre-kindergarten to college. As a professionaltransportation expert, Steve knows how important safe, reliable public transit is for workers and businesses.

Candidates Q&As for 10th Middlesex State Rep.: Lawn vs. Leary

Candidates for the 10th Middlesex State Representative election, John Lawn of Watertown and Alison Leary of Newton. Incumbent State Rep. John Lawn faces a challenge from Newton City Councilor Alison Leary for the 10th Middlesex State Representative seat, which includes the Westside of Watertown. Watertown News presented each candidate with a set of questions about their positions, concerns and more. See what they said. Both seek the Democratic nomination for the 10th Middlesex District.

State Rep. Candidate Q&A: John Lawn

State Rep. John Lawn


I was born and raised in Watertown and got involved in local politics in the mid-2000s when a local development project was being proposed in my neighborhood. I was Watertown Councilor from 2006-2012, and won a special election for state representative of Waltham, Watertown, and Newton in 2011. I’ve been proud of legislative achievements, including statute of limitation reform; veterans legislation; and, most recently, a historic expansion of voting options in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. My wife, Shannon, and I live in Watertown where we’re raising our 5 children. What issues have been your priority as a State Representative? 

Investing in our public schools, advocating for our Veterans, supporting small businesses and economic growth, and tackling the opioid epidemic.  Recently, as Chair of the Elections Committee, I’ve been working on protecting the integrity of our elections while keeping residents safe and healthy when they vote.