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Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick bucked the anti-incumbent, pro-Republican trend and won a second term Tuesday, fending off GOP challenger Charlie BakerWith 95 percent of the state's precincts reporting, Patrick had 49 percent to Baker's 42 percent. Independent Timothy Cahill was in third place with 8 percent. The fourth candidate in the race, Jill Stein of the Green-Rainbow Party, had slightly more than 1 percent.
"Tonight, Massachusetts chose to look up and forward, not down and to the past," the governor told a crowd that greeted him with chants of "four more years."
Taking note of a harsh campaign, Patrick added: "Thanks especially for making a strong statement that optimism and effort matter, that focusing on the people behind the policy is the right way to move Massachusetts forward."
He also didn't shy away from using his campaign, especially his heavy grass roots push, as a template for President Obama's own in 2012.
"We'll spend some time talking about lessons learned and lessons that could be of use to him in a couple years," the governor said.
Baker, a former health care executive, urged his supporters to "get behind the governor and do all that we can to make sure that he succeeds in pulling our economy out of the doldrums and getting it back on the right track."
He also hinted at a future campaign, harkening back to the successful gubernatorial campaigns fellow Republicans William F. Weld and Mitt Romney mounted after losing their own first campaigns.
The Republican Governors Association, fearing Cahill would play spoiler, spent millions on ads attacking not just Patrick but Cahill. The state treasurer bolted the Democratic Party last year and appealed to the same fiscally conservative voters Baker targeted.
Baker attacked Patrick for eight tax hikes — including a 25 percent increase in the state sales tax — and a projected $2 billion deficit. Patrick countered by citing investments in health care, public education and emerging industries such as clean energy and life sciences.
"I think he has done as good a job as could over the last four years," said William Morgan, 75, a retiree from suburban Wayland. "I think he has managed as well as anyone can."
Maura Garrity, 44, of Chelsea, also credited Patrick with making the best of a bad situation.
"He's done a good job despite the economy," she said.
Patrick, a 53-year-old married father of two daughters, rose from childhood poverty, attended Massachusetts' prestigious Milton Academy, Harvard College and Harvard Law on scholarship, and served in the Clinton administration Justice Department.
After a corporate law career, he made his first bid for elective office in 2006 with the help of Chicago political consultants David Axelrod and David Plouffe, who would go on to run Mr. Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. Patrick's campaign slogan of "Together We Can" presaged Mr. Obama's talk of "Hope."
After a rocky start triggered by an expensive office redecoration and pricey upgrade to a Cadillac for his official transportation, Patrick settled into the governor's job but found himself coping with the national recession. A reluctant cost-cutter, he nonetheless trimmed over $4 billion in state spending and worked with a Democratic Legislature to deliver four on-time budgets.
In seeking re-election, Patrick cast his campaign not as a quest for personal accomplishment, but as repayment for his free education.
"I'm grateful, and all I'm trying to do is give back the same better chance that I got," he said.
Baker gave up a nearly $2 million salary at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care to run for Patrick's $140,000-a-year job as governor. Cahill had to withstand twin embarrassments: His campaign manager and two other senior advisers quit in late September, followed a week later by his running mate, Paul Loscocco.
This program aired on November 2, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.
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