South Boston, MA 110712 Elizabeth Warren thanked supporters at Broadway T stop in South Boston, Wednesday, November 7 2012, (Staff Photo/Wendy Maeda) section: Metro slug: 08warren reporter: Brian Ballou
Warren thanked a supporter at the Broadway T stop in South Boston.
Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff

US Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren returned this morning to the spot where she launched her campaign just over a year ago, greeting commuters at the Broadway T Station in South Boston and pledging to work tirelessly for the middle class.

South Boston, MA 110712 Elizabeth Warren greeted a young supporter at Broadway T stop in South Boston, Wednesday, November 7 2012, (Staff Photo/Wendy Maeda) section: Metro slug: 08warren reporter: Brian Ballou
Warren greeting a young supporter (Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff)
The Boston Globe

Warren, a Democrat, defeated incumbent Republican Scott Brown Tuesday night, despite Brown’s attempts to paint himself as a one of a dying breed, a moderate New England Republican.

The victory by Warren, a Harvard Law School professor who made history as the first woman elected as a US senator from Massachusetts, marked a comeback by the state’s Democrats after Brown’s bruising 2010 upset win in a special election to fill the seat left vacant by liberal lion Edward M. Kennedy.

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In a hard-fought race that drew national attention, Warren and Brown had crisscrossed the state, aired tough TV ads, and tangled in three heated debates, while spending some $70 million between them.

Just hours after her historic win in the most expensive race in the history of the commonwealth, Warren appeared energetic as she vigorously shook hands and hugged commuters, some of whom seemed startled to see her.

Among the crowd was a woman who had turned 18 just in time to cast her first vote Tuesday.

“I voted for you, my first vote ever,” Stephanie Sosa of Dorchester told Warren. Sosa arrived at the station with friends to catch a bus.

One of her friends, Lucero Pagan, 17, a student at Boston Green Academy in South Boston, said of their brush with the senator-elect, “It was an awesome coincidence.”

“The fact that she’s a woman and she’s also pro-choice ... instead of a man representing us and telling us what to do with our bodies, it’s her, and she knows what we want because she’s a woman,” Pagan said. “If I could have voted for her, I would have.”

Cooks from nearby restaurants, police officers, and others joined the crowd as Warren stood at the top of the stairs at the station to greet emerging commuters.

“This is about helping to strengthen and rebuild our middle class, our working families and doing whatever it takes to make that happen,” she said during a five-minute press conference.

“We’re facing a $16 trillion deficit,” she said, apparently referring to the total national debt. “I look at that deficit and I think of my little grandson, he’s 2 years old. If we don’t do something, he’s the one that’s going to pay the price.”

Warren continued to include the middle class in her responses to questions from reporters, and also alluded to the president’s proposed changes in taxes for the wealthy.

“We have to say that those who make it big have to pay a fair share,’’ she said.

Warren then made a couple of suggestion on how to reduce the deficit. She listed agriculture subsidies as one area of possible spending cuts, and said that the money that went to fund the wars can go to pay it down.

Warren said she is prepared to work with Republicans. “I will work with anyone who’s out there to fight for America’s working families, Democrat, Republican, independent, Libertarian, contrarian, it doesn’t matter.”