Results: Roundup of Yes, No Votes

Brock Cordeiro reacts to  election updates at the Seaport Hotel. (E.S. Ro/BU News Service)
Brock Cordeiro reacts to election updates at the Seaport Hotel. (E.S. Ro/BU News Service)

Massachusetts Governor

As several news organizations declared Charlie Baker the next governor of Massachusetts in the early hours of the morning, Baker addressed his supporters saying that he would wait to deliver a victory speech. His opponent, Martha Coakley declined to speak to her supporters, preferring to wait until morning when the razor-thin margin might be more definitive.

I’m perfectly fine with giving her until the morning to see the results come in. That’s the way it works, folks, and that’s the way it should work,” Baker said.

NBC News was first to call Baker as the victor. The Associated Press chimed in around 1 a.m.

Coakley, the state’s two-term attorney general, lost to Republican Scott Brown in the 2010 special election for U.S. Senate. Baker lost his bid a bid for for the governor’s office later that year against Gov. Deval Patrick.

Baker worked for Republican governors William Weld and Mitt Romney before leaving for to serve as the CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.  Baker stressed his business acumen, both as state finance director and a turnaround specialist with the health insurer. Ads supporting Coakley attacked Baker for allegedly sending jobs offshore while receiving a seven-figure salary.

Coakley emphasized her advocacy for women, gay marriage and victims of the mortgage crisis of 2008.

Ballot Questions

QUESTION 1, repealing gas tax indexing: YES

Massachusetts voters rejected a law that would have required the gas tax to rise each time inflation went up. Supporters said indexing was the equivalent of taxation without representation. Opponents said the indexing was necessary to keep up the flow of highway repair funds.

A yes vote eliminated the indexing of the gas tax to inflation, returning the tax to a flat 24 cents per gallon. A no vote would have kept the indexing in place, so that the tax will increase in pace with inflation.

QUESTION 2, expanding the bottle deposit bill: NO

Voters rejected an expansion of the types of bottles that would carry a 5-cent deposit. Environmental argued that the move would  incentivize recycling. Businesses, including supermarkets opposed expanding the beverage container deposit law, saying that curbside recycling in most Massachusetts municipalities was more effective and that a change would increase the cost of  bottled water and fruit juices.

QUESTION 3, repealing the casino law: NO

Voters are taking a gamble and allowing casinos to move forward in the state.  By a wide margin, 60 to 40 percent, voters showed support for the plan for a 2011 law allowing casinos to operate in Massachusetts. Much of the opposition to casinos evaporated over the past year as communities that opposed gambling were able to veto the plans in local elections.

Those supporting gambling stressed the advantage of jobs and state revenues. Passage of the repeal would have created a legal crisis. Construction has already begun at a slot parlor in Plainville, and cleanup efforts have started at the site of a planned casino in Everett.

QUESTION 4, extending earned sick time: YES

Massachusetts will now be required to allow workers to earn sick time, including part-time workers. Small businesses with fewer than 11 employees will provide unpaid sick leave. Conservatives including Republican candidate for governor Charlie Baker proposee changing the definition of a small business to one with fewer than 50 employees. There was little campaigning done by either side on the issue.

Massachusetts House

CONTESTED RACES

3rd District – Niki Tsongas defeats Roseann Wofford
Democrat Niki Tsongas was the frontrunner going into the night and maintained her lead to win. She is the wife of former U.S Sen. Paul Tsongas.

6th District – Seth Moulton defeats Richard Tisei
Democrat and Iraqi war veteran Seth Moulton beat Richard Tisei, a moderate and Republican.

9th District – Bill Keating defeats John Chapman
Republican candidate John Chapman served under President Reagan and on Beacon Hill under then-Governor Mitt Romney.  Democrat incumbent Bill Keating led in the polls going into election day.

UNCONTESTED RACES

1st District – Richard Neal, Democrat

2nd District – Jim McGovern, Democrat

4th District – Joseph Kennedy III, Democrat

5th District – Katherine Clark, Democrat

7th District – Mike Capuano, Democrat

8th District – Stephen Lynch, Democrat

Senate Control

Republicans gain control of the US Senate.

In many ways tonight’s election is a referendum on President Obama’s policies. President Obama’s approval rating is at 42 percent.  The Democrats face “the six year itch” – the president’s party, whether Republican or Democratic, always loses seats in Congress in the sixth year of the presidential term.

Thirty-six U.S. Senate seats were up for election. Of those seats, Republicans held 15 and Democrats 21.

Republicans needed to gain six seats in the senate to gain the majority. Control of the Senate swung from Democrat and Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada to current Minority leader, Republican Senator Mitch McConnell from Kentucky. McConnell has served in the Senate since 1985, and has been minority leader since 2007.

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