Friday, October 19, 2007
Niki Tsongas wins election to Congress
Matching results across the district, a majority of voters in town preferred Democrat Niki Tsongas over the competition in the special election for U.S. Representative for the fifth Congressional District of Massachusetts held Tuesday, October 16. Tsongas received 819 votes and Republican Jim Ogonowski placed second with 519 votes. The remaining candidates lagged behind: Independent candidates Kurt Hayes and Patrick Murphy each received nine votes, while Kevin Thompson of the Constitution Party Massachusetts had no votes. There were no write-ins or blank ballots cast.
According to the Associated Press, Tsongas received 51% of the total vote in the district, while Ogonowski received 45%. The state has not had a woman serve in Congress since 1983.
Tsongas, 61, is a dean at Middlesex College and is the widow of the late U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Paul Tsongas. Ogonowski, 50, is a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and farmer, whose brother, John Ogonowski, was one of the pilots killed by the plane hijackings on September 11, 2001.
The special election was scheduled when former U.S. Representative Marty Meehan resigned last spring to become chancellor of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.
Carlisle Town Clerk Charlene Hinton reported there were 19 voters queued when the polls opened at 7 a.m. Ninety voted within the first hour and a steady stream of people passed through the polls during the day. By the time the polls closed 13 hours later, 1,356 votes had been cast, including 98 absentee ballots. Carlisle has 5,436 residents and 39.6% of the town's 3,423 registered voters turned out for the election.
No one used the town's new handicapped-accessible electronic voting machine, Hinton observed. She plans to make the machine available in her office next February, prior to the March 4 presidential primary election in order to encourage residents to try it. Voters will be able to receive training on how to use the machine, and will be able to use it to vote as soon as absentee ballots become available shortly before the primary.
© 2007 The