John Lawn Wins Democratic Primary For 10th Middlesex State Rep. Seat
Lawn will face Republican James Dixon in the general election on Tuesday, May 10.
For nearly an hour after the polls closed at 8 p.m., the mood at Shopper's Cafe in Waltham was one of nervous excitement, as more than 50 supporters of John Lawn waited anxiously for the results of the Democratic primary election for the 10th Middlesex District state representative seat.
Shortly after 9 p.m., the crowd erupted into cheers — Lawn, a Watertown Town Councilman, had won the Democratic nomination, over three other Democratic candidates.
Lawn now faces Republican James Dixon, of Waltham in the Tuesday, May 10 special general election. Dixon was the only Republican on the ballot. The winner of the May election will replace former State Rep. Peter Koutoujian, who was appointed Middlesex County Sheriff earlier this year.
In a statement issued the day after the election, Dixon congratulated Lawn.
"Now the voters of the 10th Middlesex District will have two very clear paths to choose from. The current path has lead to high taxes, high unemployment, businesses, jobs and people leaving our district and our state," he said.
Lawn won Watertown with 412 votes, many more than Ciccone’s and Durkee’s 17 votes each. Marchese received 33 votes in Watertown. In total, 479 people voted in Watertown.
“As great as this victory is, I certainly know I did not do this alone,” said Lawn during his victory speech. “I did it with all of your help. It was a tremendous effort in a short period of time.”
For video of Lawn’s victory, click the photo box to the right.
Lawn, who has served on the Watertown Town Council for six years, announced his candidacy on Monday, Feb. 7, nearly a month after Koutoujian was named to his current post.
“I knew getting into this race that it was geographically set against me. But, I thought it was a race [that] if I worked really hard, and got my message out and good people behind me, that I could be successful.”
Koutoujian was on hand to help celebrate the win, but warned Lawn’s supporters that the hard work had yet to begin.
“This is not a shoo-in,” said Koutoujian. “We need to get behind John Lawn ... nothing will be taken for granted. We’ve got a strong Republican opponent that just ran. He’s got high name recognition. It’s a time when Republicans are doing very well out there right now. We need to all get behind, and I will be with every one of you, getting behind John Lawn as he continues his great work.”
With the general election less than a month away, Lawn vowed to return to the campaign trail immediately.
“It’s an election against a Republican and this is a heavy Democratic area, but we have seen in the state what has happened. I cannot take this lightly. I will start working tomorrow morning.”
The other candidates were gracious in their defeat, including Durkee. From his election night gathering at The Skellig in Waltham, Durkee conceded the race to Lawn after receiving unofficial results. Durkee said he would gladly support Lawn in the general election.
“He was gracious … in his victory,” Durkee said of speaking with Lawn by telephone.
In Waltham, Durkee received 24 votes in Ward 5, Precinct 1, 20 in Ward 5, Precinct 2, 58 each in Ward 6, Precincts 1 and 2, five Ward 7, Precinct 2, 37 in Ward 8, Precincts 1 and 27 in Ward 8, Precinct 2. He also received 32 votes in Ward 9, Precinct 1, and Ward 9, Precinct 2. In total, he received 272 votes in Waltham, placing third throughout the city.
Newton Alderman Allan Ciccone Jr. trailed Durkee with 54 votes. Marchese won the city with 659 votes and Lawn placed second with 361 votes. In total, 1352 people voted in Waltham.
Although Durkee did not give a speech to his group of gathered supporters, in an interview with Patch, he thanked them for their hard work and support.
“I don’t regret getting into the race. I gave everything I had,” Durkee told Patch.
With his loss, Durkee said he would continue working as a business manager at Lincoln Laboratory, and catch up on personal items, such as visiting the doctor.
“I need to catch up on a lot of things,” he said.
For a video of Durkee reflecting on his loss, click on the photo box at the top right.
The scene was similar at Ciccone’s election night gathering. Shortly after Ciccone saw the election results for Watertown’s precinct, he looked at Aldermen President Scott Lennon and asked for John Lawn’s phone number.
“I gave (Lawn) my congratulations and he congratulated me on a great campaign,” Ciccone told Patch at his campaign’s headquarters at West Street Tavern in Nonantum.
The Ward 1 Alderman-at-Large was surrounded by family, friends and colleagues at the tavern. Everyone was huddled around a laptop adding up the numbers as they came in.
Ciccone received 389 of a total 611 votes cast in Newton, with 113 of those votes coming from Ward 1, Precinct 1, 178 from Ward 1, Precinct 4 and 78 from Ward 3, Precinct 4.
Lawn came in second in the city with 103 votes overall and Marchese rounded out the top three with 46 votes.
After conceding the race, Ciccone stepped back into the tavern and thanked his supporters, asking them to “get behind our Democrat” and support Lawn in the general election.
As for what he could have done differently on the campaign trail, Ciccone said he “is going to need a couple of days” to sit back and reflect on the last couple months. For now, though, he is looking forward to running his re-election campaign for alderman-at-large.
Ward 6 Alderman-at-Large Charlie Shapiro was at the tavern alongside Lennon to support their colleague. Ciccone’s family also stood by his side, staying optimistic until the very end.
“I’m proud of him and everything he has accomplished and learned throughout this entire race,” said Ciccone’s nephew Robert March.