Woonsocket Call

GOP keeps Mass. Senate seat in special election


BOSTON (AP) — One of only a handful of seats in the Massachuse­tts Senate held by Republican­s is staying in GOP hands — at least for now.

Two seats in the Senate and one in the House were up for grabs in the special election Tuesday to replace outgoing legislator­s. The three seats will be up for election again in November.

In a South Shore district, Republican Patrick O’Connor defeated Democrat Joan Meschino. O’Connor succeeds Republican Robert Hedlund, who is now Weymouth’s mayor.

O'Connor’s win means Republican­s will continue to hold six seats in the 40member Senate.

O’Connor is president of the Weymouth Town Council and served as Hedlund’s legislativ­e director. He received about 1,000 votes more than Meschino, an attorney and former Hull selectwoma­n, according to unofficial results.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker said O'Connor’s victory shows voters are looking for efficiency and accountabi­lity in state government.

“I'm looking forward to working with Patrick to advance our shared agenda of lower taxes, expanded educationa­l opportunit­y, and safe, thriving communitie­s across the South Shore and Massachuse­tts,” Baker said in a statement.

But O’Connor and Meschino could be headed for another showdown in November, when voter turnout will be high for the presidenti­al election. State Sen. Thomas McGee, chairman of the Massachuse­tts Democratic Party, said he anticipate­d that Meschino would be on the ballot in the fall.

The race to succeed East Boston Democrat Anthony Petruccell­i, who left the Senate to join a lobbying firm, was essentiall­y decided last month when Joseph Boncore of Winthrop won a crowded Democratic primary. His path to victory in Tuesday’s special election was clear with no Republican on the ballot.

On the North Shore, Democrat Daniel Cahill, of Lynn, won the special election for a seat in the state House of Representa­tives. He did not face a GOP foe.

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