Hecht: Brownsberger Got His Supporters Out, Won State Senate Election [Video]
The Watertown State Representative said he got the numbers he wanted, but Belmont's 30 percent turnout made the difference.
After a short, but intense campaign, Watertown State Rep. Jonathan Hecht said he was happy with his vote totals, but the larger-than-expected turnout in Belmont carried Belmont State Rep. Will Brownsberger to victory.
Brownsberger won the Democratic primary in the special election to fill Steven Tolman's Second Suffolk and Middlesex State Senate seat with with a total of 4,958 (35.5 percent)
The district covers all of Watertown, Belmont, and parts of Cambridge and Boston. Hecht finished second with 3,899 (26 percent), followed by former state firefighters union president Bob McCarthy of Watertown, who had 3,436 votes (22 percent), and Brighton attorney Tim Schofield garnered 2,887 votes (19 percent).
Close, But Not Enough
The vote totals came in around where he wanted them, Hecht said, but this time it was not enough.
He said he hoped to get close to 3,000 in Watertown (he got 2,645), 400 to 500 in Belmont (he received 476), 600 in Cambridge (597) and a couple hundred in Boston (181).
"We thought that would be about what we needed," Hecht said. "But Will got his base out."
Brownsberger carried 3,304 votes in his hometown, or 68 percent, compared to 9.8 percent for Hecht. McCarthy came in second in Belmont, with 18 percent of the vote.
Belmont's turnout of more than 30 percent turn out of the nearly 16,700 registered voters was significantly higher than expected. Early in the day Belmont Town Clerk Ellen Cushman predicted a 24 percent turnout, which was larger than most special elections.
Watertown, Hecht's home town, had a turnout of 21.5 percent of the nearly 20,700 registered voters. Hecht got 60 percent of the votes (2,645), McCarthy grabbed 31 percent, Brownsberger nearly 5 percent and Schofield got nearly 3 percent.
Bob McCarthy's Effect
Hecht said he had not analyzed the numbers, and said it was too early to say what effect McCarthy had on the race. The Watertown resident finished second in all four communities.
In Cambridge, which had an 18.5 percent turnout, McCarthy got 602 votes. Brownsberger had the most with 1,069, Hecht got 597 and Schofield 503.
Brownsberger's House district included four precincts in the State Senate district, and Hecht had two of the precincts in his House district.
McCarthy said he ran so he could give a voice people who do not have one — seniors, veterans and children. He just could not get enough votes in the short election.
“It wasn’t in the cards, plain and simple," McCarthy said. "We did what we needed to do. We didn’t leave any stone unturned. There’s nothing I regret from this whole campaign.”
He promised to keep working to help people, adding that he had five appointments the day after election day with people looking for assistance.
Schofield Has No Regrets
Schofield had his strongest showing in Boston, where he hails from. He picked up 2,061 votes, or nearly 64 percent of the votes, followed by McCarthy with 18.6 percent, Brownsberger with 11.5 percent and Hecht with 5.6 percent. There was at turnout of 10.5 percent of the nearly 31,800 registered voters in the Boston precincts in the state senate district
Although Schofield pulled up the rear, he said he ran a fun, important campaign "with no regrets."
"We drove the discussion in this race," he said. "There's no doubt about that in my mind."
His campaign focused on having an "honest conversation" about revenue, long-term spending and the state budget, and piggybacked on the political and economic climate demonstrated by the Occupy movement..