Democrat Denise Garlick beat out Republican John O’Leary for state
representative in the 13th Norfolk district, which covers Needham,
Dover and Medfield.
Garlick will replace Democrat Lida Harkins, who is leaving the seat
after 22 years.
Garlick received 10,642 total votes to O’Leary's 8,589 votes, according to unofficial results.
“I believe the voters trusted me,” said Garlick. “I feel like these
are most serious challenging times we’ve faced as a Commonwealth in
several generations, and there’s important work to be done.”
O'Leary conceded around 8:45 p.m., less than an hour after the polls closed.
“I commend Denise Garlick and I wish her the best representing the
towns of Needham, Dover and Medfield, and thanks to all who supported
my candidacy,” he said.
According to the results provided by Garlick's campaign, Garlick won every precinct in Needham with 8,271 votes while O’Leary received 5,433 votes.
In, Medfield Garlick won precinct 1 but lost precinct 2. She took a total of 1,367 votes in Medfield. O’Leary picked up 1,435.
Garlick lost in Dover, however, with 1,004 votes. O’Leary received 1,721.
Garlick is a nurse at Wellesley College and a Needham Selectwoman. She
has advocated for protecting local aid and social services, especially
for seniors and education. She has also said she would promote green
technologies as a way to improve the economy and fight climate change.
O’Leary is a researcher at Harvard University who worked for three
state agencies under former Gov. Mitt Romney. He has argued throughout
his campaign that Beacon Hill is inefficient because Democrats enjoy
special interests as an overwhelming majority. He has promised to make
the state more efficient and cut the income tax to 5 percent.
The last time a Republican was elected to the seat was in 1986 when Ellen
M. Canavan of Needham was elected, said Brian McNiff, communications
director for the Secretary of State. She was the state representative
right before Harkins.
Both candidates named creating jobs, improving the economy and
containing healthcare costs as top priorities.
O’Leary voiced support for casinos, provided that the town
where the casino is built welcomes the development, and he is in favor
of charter schools.
Garlick has argued against both, stating that casinos hurt local
business and charter schools drain resources from the public school