Rep. Tierney Holds Off GOP's Tisei

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Rep. John Tierney, left, and Richard Tisei, right. (AP Photos, File)
Rep. John Tierney, left, and Richard Tisei, right. (AP Photos, File)

11/7 Update: Tisei has officially conceded the race.

Democratic U.S. Rep. John Tierney has been re-elected in Massachusetts' 6th Congressional District despite a fierce challenge from Republican Richard Tisei. Still, Tisei’s campaign will likely challenge the results and alleges that there were voting improprieties in various communities, especially Lynn.

The Fight Continues

It’s another nasty chapter in one of the nastiest and most expensive congressional campaigns in the nation, which was something Rep. Tierney acknowledged in his victory speech.

“It was ugly. It was nasty,” Tierney said. “It was expensive for them – more than $5 million spreading misinformation — but we had people who stayed with it all the way and never gave up hope, never gave up faith, and were our friends and supporters. We thank them for the work that they did.”

This was a somewhat unexpected speech for Tierney. Tisei was favored to win — largely because of the illegal gambling scandal involving Tierney's in-laws. Tierney's wife spent a month in prison over the scandal, but Tierney insisted he knew nothing about it.

As the night dragged on at Tisei headquarters, the festive mood turned somber and crowds began dwindling. Shortly after 11 p.m., Tisei made a statement saying that the race was so close that the counting would continue through the night. Tisei's campaign manager Paul Moore added that the campaign would challenge some of the votes in various communities like Lynn, where Tierney appears to have won big. Moore alleges several things, such as a lack of communication with Lynn officials, few exact vote counts and reports of possible voter intimidation.

“Frankly, it's the old Democratic party machine in a one-party state and it rears its ugly head. I think it's a sad thing for the state,” Moore said. “But for Lynn to refuse to communicate with the congressional candidate on Election Night is nothing short of incompetence.”

Moore also alleged that the campaign received reports of possible voter intimidation and, because Tisei is a few thousand votes behind, the campaign could ask for a recount.

Massachusetts Democratic Party Chairman John Walsh doubts the outcome will change.

“If Richard Tisei needs a calculator, I’ll get him one,” Walsh said. “He ran a hard campaign. He ran a nasty campaign. And the voters of this district rejected it by thousands of votes.”

The Tisei campaign expects to begin reviewing the vote counts later Wednesday.

This post was updated with Morning Edition feature content.

This article was originally published on November 07, 2012.

This program aired on November 7, 2012.

Deborah Becker Host/Reporter
Deborah Becker is a senior correspondent and host at WBUR. Her reporting focuses on mental health, criminal justice and education.



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