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Clark Defeats Addivinola, Wins Race for Congress

Katherine Clark easily defeated Republican challenger Frank Addivinola Jr. and two other candidates in the race for Edward Markey's 5th Congressional District seat.

Katherine Clark after winning a seat in Congress Tuesday night in Stoneham. Credit: Mark Ouellette
Katherine Clark after winning a seat in Congress Tuesday night in Stoneham. Credit: Mark Ouellette
By Mark Ouellette and Nate Homan

Despite four names being on the ballot for the Special State Election on Tuesday, State Sen. Katherine Clark easily defeated Republican challenger Frank Addivinola Jr. and two other candidates in the race for Edward Markey's 5th Congressional District seat.

Clark, 50, a Democrat from Melrose, tallied 66 percent of the votes cast on election day, while Addivinola finished in second place with 32 percent, according to a Politico report. She also beat Justice Peace Security Party candidate James Hall and Wellesley resident and Independent candidate James Aulenti.

In her home city of Melrose, Clark garnered just over 69 percent of the votes, while Addivinola tallied nearly 30 percent, according to results by the Melrose City Clerk's Office. However, Addivinola could not carry his former hometown, as Clark tallied 2,181 votes to Addivinola's 870, according to preliminary results from the Malden City Clerk's Office.

One Melrosian that backed Clark was Laura Paladino, who has known the Democrat for more than 10 years and is a neighbor of hers. She said Clark is "fantastic" and supported her because of Clark's stance on women's rights and equal pay for women.

Charlie Hollander, who moved to Arlington in July after living in Jersey City for 35 years, said he helped the Clark campaign recently and during the primary by making phone calls to prospective voters. 

"I looked at the candidates and was fond of Will Brownsberger, but I preferred Katherine Clark," he said. "I like where she stood on the issues...and I think it's very important to get all the Democrats we can into Congress and stop the Republican obstruction."

With the win, Clark will be sworn in as a U.S. Representative and fill the void left by Markey, who defeated Republican challenger Gabriel Gomez in the race for former Sen. John Kerry's seat earlier this year. Kerry's post became available after he was tabbed by the Obama administration to become Secretary of State.

Clark celebrated her victory with her supporters at a campaign party at Stoneham-based Montvale Plaza Tuesday night. 

During his opening remarks, Melrose Mayor Rob Dolan said one thing has remained consistent with Clark: "her commitment to children, the elderly, economic justice and justice for all Americans."

Mass. Attorney General Martha Coakley followed Dolan, saying "I think if Washington had a few more Katherine Clarks we would be in much better shape."

"...What you see is what you get with Katherine Clark," Coakley said. "She works hard, she's collaborative, she's fierce in her beliefs but she is willing to sit down with anyone and get results."

Clark thanked all her supporters, including the hundreds that packed the function room at Montvale Plaza.

"I am truly humbled by the support that we have received from across this district," Clark said. "I have three words for you: we did it."

She added, "I want to thank all of you who worked so hard on this campaign."

Clark said the vote sends a message to the "extremists in Congress that it is time to get back to work for middle class families."

"When women make equal pay for equal work, it's easier for a family to pay the bills, to save for college and to help an aging parent...We need to keep our promise to protect social security and medicare for our seniors. No one who works full-time in this country should live in poverty," Clark added.

Clark, who defeated six fellow Democrats during an October primary, said every child should have the opportunity to receive a good education. She also said that Congress needs to address climate change.

Clark also took aim at Congress for failing to pass "common sense reforms that will protect out families from gun violence" since the Newtown, Conn. tragedy a year ago this week.

Meanwhile, Addivinola, an attorney from Boston and a former Maldonian, thanked his supporters at a campaign party Tuesday night in Malden.

"I want to thank everyone for being here and thank you for your support," he said to a crowded function room at the Pearl Street Station Restaurant in Malden. "We ran a good, clean campaign with a great message about jobs and the economy. The numbers may have been stacked against us, that doesn’t mean we didn’t give a good fight."

Addivinola said he was appreciative of all the voters that participated in the election process, even if the outcome wasn't what he had hoped for.

"...It’s very important for people to participate in the political process and go to the polls. Now, unfortunately, not everyone goes to participate in the process we have with that freedom," he said. "Therefore, I want to encourage people to go to the polls, not just to vote for me, but to participate in the political process. I want to thank the people who took the time to vote even if they didn’t vote for me."

"I am disappointed but not discouraged. It takes time and persistence to build and build and eventually prevail," he said. "As we move forward, if there’s a place for me in politics, I would like to count upon you for the support you have given me," Addivinola added.

Addivinola, who has run for Boston City Council, U.S. House and the state Senate, said, "I’m not sure what is on the horizon."

"...I’m going consider my options. Where a proper place for me to be, I’m not quite sure," he said. "But I do have a commitment to help improve the country."
John DiMascio December 11, 2013 at 08:19 AM
66% of 13% of all registered voters means 19% of registered voters elected our new Congressman. My point isn't to diminish her win. Rather to point out the abysmal turnout. In Watertown 10% of the people voted. For some reason Winchester manager to get a 48% turnout. In any event, to the 87% of the people that could have voted but didn't take the time to bother, please do the rest of us a favor and move to some country where you don't have the responsibility to vote. It's obvious you can't handle it.
Michael Dattoli December 11, 2013 at 12:31 PM
John, Winchester had a ballot question that was of great interest to the residents. It was regarding a temporary tax override to construct a new high school. Sadly, in order to get people to turn out for elections, it seems hot button ballot questions need to also be present.
John DiMascio December 13, 2013 at 02:52 AM
Yeah I caught that fact later. Oh and I got my math wrong. Clark was elected by 66% of 13% which means roughly 8% of registered voters elected our new congressman.

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