Democrat Katherine M. Clark bested Malden Republican Craig Spadafora
for the Middlesex and Essex District state Senate seat.
Clark won in three of the five precincts, pulling a total 52 percent of the vote to Spadafora's 48 percent.
The victory may have come as an upset to some, but last night Clark said she was not surprised.
"I think it was the last six months out in the community, promoting small business and common sense solutions," Clark said of her victory. "I think [the message] transcended party [lines] and brought us the success that we're celebrating tonight."
Clark, currently the state Representative for the 32d Middlesex District, where she will be succeeded by Melrose Democrat David Brodeur, was surrounded by more than 100 supporters and campaign workers last night at the VFW Hall on Main Street in Melrose, where a DJ spun soft rock and a slideshow showed Clark and supporters during the campaign.
Clark won handily in Malden, Spadafora's home turf, where she garnered 7,509 votes to the city councilor's 5,959. Other precincts were closer, with Spadafora taking Stoneham by a less than 10 votes, 4,439-4,447, according to a final tally.
In an interview Wednesday, Spadafora said he would do it all over again the same way.
"We did everything we could, we stuck to our game plan," Spadafora said. "We stuck with the issues. I don't regret anything. we stuck to jobs, the economy, taxes."
Spadafora said he will look forward to continuing his work on the Malden City Council, but rebuffed questions about a possible run for mayor.
"Absolutely not, no," he said in a phone interview. Spadafora acknowledged that his colleague, Ward 1 Councilor Gary Christenson, announced his bid Wednesday, but expressed no interest in taking up the mantle of another campaign in pursuit of higher office.
"Not for me," he said. "The next mayor of Malden will be in some hot water, because its going to be a tough couple of years in the state.
During the last days of the campaign, Clark said she had some difficulty gauging voter sentiment, but said her get-out-the-vote efforts succeeded in the end.
Once on in Senate, Clark said her priority will be filing a jobs bill to support small businesses and offering tax incentives to ease access to capital, she said.
The bill will provide "Relief to help [businesses] get through these hard times," she said.
Clark succeeds Richard Tisei, the Wakefield Republican who ran as lieutenant governor on the GOP governor's ticket with Charlie Baker that lost to incumbent Democrats Deval Patrick and Tim Murray.
The Middlesex and Essex District covers Malden, Wards 1-5 in Melrose, Lynnfield, Reading, Stoneham, and Wakefield.