Massachusetts showed its true-blue colors Tuesday by rejecting Republican and third-party challengers and re-electing all the Democratic members of Congress seeking new terms.
Sen. John Kerry headlined the list, defeating former Army Delta Force member Jeff Beatty to win a fifth six-year term. Winning another two years in the House were Reps. John Olver, Barney Frank, John Tierney and Edward Markey.
“I am humbled to receive the support of voters from Williamstown to Provincetown and every city and town in between, and I promise to continue to prove worthy of your confidence in me over the next six years,” Kerry said in a statement issued before he addressed supporters at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel.
Kerry’s support for Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama, who also won Massachusetts, has prompted speculation he might be tapped for a Cabinet job should Obama win nationally, but Kerry tried to tamp that down in his remarks.
“I have always been honored to represent the people of Massachusetts, and I can’t wait to return to Washington with my friend Ted Kennedy by my side and continue to deliver for you and your families,” he said, alluding to Sen. Edward Kennedy, who is suffering from brain cancer.
Beatty, a Republican, hinted to supporters that he would run again if either Kerry left office or Kennedy were unable to complete his term in 2012.
“Tonight over a million people in Massachusetts joined you in saying we want to start heading off in a new direction,” Beatty told a crowd at a Westborough hotel. “We’ve seen the coming-out party, really, of a movement that represents what I think are the beliefs and values of a majority of out citizens. It’s just our job now to go out and reach them.”
The six other House members had no challengers, and Kennedy was not up for re-election.
One of the most vocal challenges came to Frank, who had two opponents: Republican Earl Sholley of Norfolk and Democrat-turned-independent Susan Allen of Brookline.
Allen accused Frank of not standing up to the Bush administration. Sholley said the House Financial Services Committee chairman was architect of the nation’s housing crash and financial meltdown.
Olver was challenged by an Iraqi war veteran, Republican Nathan Bech, while Tierney’s opponent was Republican Richard Baker of West Newbury and Markey’s was John Cunningham of Revere, a self-professed libertarian running under the GOP banner.