By Joe Durwin On: 11:02PM / Thursday September 06, 2012
Patsy Harris reacts after learning she's won the Democratic primary for register of deeds.
Patsy Harris gets a congratulatory hug at her victory party at the American Legion on Thursday night.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Patsy Harris will ascend to register of deeds after attaining a majority of votes in a hotly contested three-way Democratic primary election with Jody Phillips and Scott M. Pignatelli.
"Thank you for all your time," said Harris to supporters at an election night reception at the American Legion Post 68. "It all paid off."
Harris swept every one of the 12 communities that comprise the Middle Berkshire District, with the exception of Pittsfield's Ward 7A, which went to Phillips. Harris captured 60.7 percent of the vote; Phillips had 22.5 percent and Pignatelli with 16.8 percent.
Becket's numbers were reported late in the evening, but Harris received statements of concession from both opponents by around 9 p.m.
The final count was Harris with 6,663 votes; Phillips with 2,446 and Pignatelli with 1,910.
Harris, a current assistant register of deeds, was seen a clear front-runner early on in the race, but seemed to face a growing challenge from her two opponents, particularly Phillips, a former city clerk, as their campaign visibility grew over the summer.
Harris lavished praise on and thanked an enthusiastic crowd of supporters and key campaign volunteers.
"When somebody runs for office, they're really saying 'Get ready everybody, I need everything you've got for a year,'" said Harris, calling it a "great race" in which the other candidates "were wonderful as well."
"I think it was a clean race, really, I do," she added, though this was greeted by skeptical laughter by many of her supporters. Earlier this summer complaints of missing or destroyed campaign signs aroused some level of controversy, and was addressed in a variety of letters by Harris' supporters.
The newly elected register particularly credited the financial support of the "legal community, really as a whole" in funding her campaign.
"They really came through, and I'm just so grateful," said Harris.
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The state is holding a special election to fill the seat vacated by John F. Kerry, who has been confirmed as U.S. secretary of state.
The state primary is Tuesday, April 30. The last day to register to vote or to change party affiliation for the primary is Wednesday, April 10. Enrolled voters may only vote in their party primary; unenrolled voters may select a primary to vote in without changing their status.
The special election is scheduled for Tuesday, June 25. The last day to register to vote in the election is Wednesday, June 5.
To register to vote, one must be at least age 18 by the date of the election, a U.S. citizen and a resident of the municipality in which you are voting.