2 in Massachusetts House leadership ousted in primaries

Jamaica Plain  MA   7/9/18       candidates forum between Nika Elugardo and Jeffrey Sanchez for the 15th Suffolk State Rep election at at the First Baptist Church. (photo by Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff)
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Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez and Nika Elugardo at a July 9 forum. –Matthew J. Lee / The Boston Globe

BOSTON (AP) — Two veteran state lawmakers from Boston who were part of the House leadership have been defeated by challengers in Democratic primaries.

Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez, chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, lost his re-election bid on Tuesday to Democrat Nika Elugardo. Sanchez had served in the House since 2003.

Rep. Byron Rushing, the assistant majority leader in the House who was first elected to the Legislature in 1982, was defeated by Democrat Jon Santiago.

Elugardo had made immigration a key issue in the campaign. She criticized Sanchez for not insisting upon language in the final version of the state budget that called for sharp limits on cooperation between police and federal immigration officials.

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Sanchez said while he personally supported that language, there wasn’t enough House backing for it.

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