Downing, who represents more than 50 cities and towns in four counties across Western Massachusetts, announced earlier this year he would not run for re-election.
There are three contested Democratic state representative races along with one state Senate primary in western Massachusetts.
In the region’s sole contested primary for a state Senate seat, Democrats in a Berkshire County-based district have made campaign donations a hot topic.
Ben Swan, Jr., is trying to succeed his father, Ben Swan, Sr., who is retiring. Kenneth Barnett, Larry Lawson and Bud Williams want to wrestle the seat away from the Swan family for the first time in more than 20 years.
Our panel looks at the big stories in the news.
The Massachusetts state legislature will hold a hearing Thursday on a bill that would prohibit police officers from using inappropriate language.