Tisei, now 50, rose from a 22-year-old state representative to become minority leader in the Senate during 26 years in the Legislature. A fiscal conservative and social libertarian, he was trying to become the first Republican elected to the US House from Massachusetts in nearly two decades.
“If this state won’t elect a Republican like Richard Tisei,” said Karl Weld, 42, a graphic designer from Reading, “it will never elect a Republican.”
Kathy McCabe and Steven A. Rosenberg of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Eric Moskowitz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.