Governor Michael Dukakis was not challenged in the Democratic Primary which was held on September 16, 1986. Several Republicans sought the opportunity to challenge Dukakis. Greg Hyatt received the most votes in the Republican Primary (31,021) with Royall Switzler finishing second (20,802). George Kariotis, who ran a write-in campaign, finished third (11,787). After the primary, however, Hyatt withdrew from the race and the Republican State Committee selected Kariotis to be the nominee. In the November 7, 1986 general election, Dukakis defeated Kariotis, 1,157,786 to 525,364.
For Lieutenant Governor for the Democrats, Evelyn Murphy of Brookline defeated Gerard D’Amico of Worcester, 374,714 to 248,671. On the Republican side, Nicholas Nikitas was unopposed for the nomination.
For Attorney General, Jim Shannon defeated Joann Shotwell in the Democratic Primary, 402,744 to 188,404. In the general election, Shannon defeated Republican Edward Harrington, 900,088 to 746,791. Incumbent Secretary of State Michael Connolly defeated Republican challenger Deborah Cochran, 1,091,441 to 513,455. Incumbent Treasurer Bob Crane defeated Republican challenger Joyce Hampers, 931,704 to 693,750.
For the open seat of State Auditor, in the Democratic Primary, Joe DeNucci won with 307,272 votes to Maura Hennigan’s 197,113 and Charles Yancey’s 64,300. In the Republican primary, Bill Robinson defeated Andrew Natsios, 42,794 to 35,632. In the general election, DeNucci defeated Robinson, 1,001,236 to 583,299.
Incumbents Chet Atkins in the Fifth Congressional District, Governor’s Councilor Herb Connolly, State Senator Paul Sheehy and State Representatives John Cox, Ed Lelacheur and Susan Rourke all were unopposed in their reelection campaigns.
In Middlesex County, Scott Harshbarger of Cambridge defeated Stephen McGrail of Wakefield in the Democratic Primary for District Attorney, 138,517 to 39,758. In the Democratic Primary for Sheriff, John McGonigle of Wakefield defeated Henry Sullivan of Chelmsford, 102,010 to 50,593. Both Harshbarger and McGonigle were unopposed in the general election. In the Democratic Primary for County Commissioner, Bill Schmidt of Cambridge won, receiving 47,054 votes to 45,475 for Tewksbury’s Paul Sullivan; 36,561 for Everett’s Barbara Collins; and 27,266 for Cambridge’s Anthony Pini. In the general election, Schmidt defeated Republican Albert Onessiom, 238,978 to 115,885.