PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The slate of candidates in the statewide general election is set.
For governor, Charlie Baker soared to victory in the Republican primary Tuesday over Mark Fisher. And Berkshire native Martha Coakley won in the Democratic primary. Those two will join independent Evan Falchuk in the November general election to choose Gov. Deval Patrick's replacement.
"It is a new day, let's make it ours," Coakley said to conclude a speech to supporters Tuesday night when she outlined a platform based on making pre-K universal, requiring earned sick time for workers, improved mental health services and "regional economies."
"We want all of our kids to find a dream and give them a chance to follow it," Coakley said of her education plan.
She added that she wants to spend $500 million in a 10-year period to grow regional economies.
Coakley will be paired with lieutenant governor candidate Steve Kerrigan, who won his nomination over Mike Lake and Leland Cheung. Kerrigan had 50 percent of the state's vote compared to Cheung's 30 percent and 20 percent for Lake.
Coakley soared locally with North County strongly behind her — particularly in North Adams, where she graduated high school. In North Adams, she had 68 percent compared to Steven Grossman's 19 percent and 13 percent for Donald Berwick.
However, less than 10 percent of registered voters made it to the polls. A total of 824 voters of the 8,720 registered voted.
Election worker Ron O'Brien said it was the "slowest" he's ever seen in an election. That was common all across the state, with many towns reporting turnout in the teens. In Adams, only 679 of the 5,858 registered voters turned out.
"I think we hit 12 percent, which isn’t great, but it is good," said Town Clerk Haley Meczywor said. "Two years ago, we had 14 percent so we weren’t too far off."
In other parts of the county, the race was closer. In Pittsfield, Coakley had 1,193 votes to Grossman's 910 and Berwick's 630 — 43 percent, 33 percent and 22 percent. Pittsfield also saw a low voter turnout with only 11 percent of the 28,083 voters making it to the polls.
Coakley barely squeaked by in the primary against Grossman and Berwick. Coakley and Grossman were running neck and neck throughout the night as the results came in. However, Coakley kept a 5 percent lead — with just more than 40 percent of the vote — over Grossman. Losing by that 5 percent at about 10:30 p.m., Grossman conceded.
"We may have fallen short by 5 percentage points. But, we didn't fall short," Grossman said.
He told supporters he was proud of their work and that while the campaign didn't win, it did create an army of activists. The election is more about the ideas, he said. And that is why despite the loss, Grossman is supporting the Democratic nominee in Coakley.
"I want to make sure a Democrat is in the third-floor corner office and I will do everything I can to make that happen," he said.
The state party has already been focusing on the general election and Coakley said now is the time for Democrats to unite.
"We are united as a party and I welcome them and all of their supporters in the fight we have ahead," Coakley said.
With about three-quarters of the Republican vote, Baker claimed victory by 10 p.m. He and Karyn Polito, who ran unopposed for the lieutenant governor nomination, will now be at the top of the Republican ticket.
"Tonight the campaign for a better Massachusetts begins," Baker told supporters as begins to focus the campaign on his Democratic opponents.
In accepting the Republican nomination, Baker said the Democrats have already launched negative attack ads against him.
"They need the people of Massachusetts to vote against me because they are not going to be able to get the people to vote for their candidate," Baker said.
But, he says he and Polito have plans to create jobs, clean up the welfare system, keep taxes low, and restore fiscal discipline. He took his own shots at Democrats saying their leadership has led to corruption and scandals — specifically in the probate court.
Baker won in nearly all of the towns across the state. Three towns he didn't win were in the Berkshires. Republican voters picked Fisher in Clarksburg by a 16-13 vote; Becket with a 22-4 vote; and in Sandisfield with a 9-6 vote.
Baker says his party will give a "new direction" instead of more of the status quo. He said his administration will be "smarter, faster and better" while the Democrats will be "bigger, slower, more complicated and a lot more expensive.
Coakley, speaking about an hour after Baker, shot back saying that Baker isn't the independent he is claiming to be. She cited his previous campaign for governor when she says he was a "tea party Republican."
"We believe the voters are smart enough to see though Charlie's superficial transformation," Coakley said.
She challenged Baker to a "people's pledge" to keep money raised from super PACs out of the general election.
"I'm in this fight for you for people who don't have money or power," Coakley said.
Also running for governor in the general election is Falchuk of the United Independent Party.
In other races, Maura Healey won the Democratic primary for attorney general. She defeated Warren Tolman for the position with 62 percent of the state's vote.
Healey cited her focus on foreclosures, bullying and workers being "cheated" as leading to an overwhelming victory. She will now take on Republican John Miller in the general election.
"These are the fights that have driven this campaign for the beginning," Healey said. "And now I am ready to take this fight on to November."
Deborah Goldberg won the Democratic primary for treasurer over Barry Finegold and Tom Conroy. She will face off against Republican candidate Michael J. Heffernan, who ran unopposed in the primary.
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The cities of Pittsfield and North Adams will hold municipal elections for mayor, city council and school committee in 2015
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