EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

November 6, 2012

Tierney-Tisei race too close to call

(Continued)

“I’m waiting because I want to see John win,” said Kyriakos Andrinodoulos, who owns Brothers Deli in Danvers Square. “He’s a good friend, a good guy and he’s done a lot of things for us. I came here to hear him give the winning speech.”

The crowd’s spirits were boosted at 11:13 p.m. when MSNBC declared President Obama the winner.

The mood was more subdued at Tisei’s election-night party, particularly as the night wore on.

“I’m not coming down to concede the race, I’m not coming down to declare,” Tisei said just after 11 p.m. to the crowd gathered at the Peabody Marriott. “We are within one-eighth of one percent. It’s very close and there are still communities being counted.”

Yesterday was supposed to be the conclusion to what has been one of the most bruising and nasty campaigns in the nation — punctuated by more than $5 million in outside spending, a barrage of negative television ads and mailers and very real animosity between the rival candidates.

Tisei’s election-night headquarters was rollicking in the early part of the evening with cheers and excitement, but grew sullen and anxious as television networks announced Democrat Elizabeth Warren the victor over U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, and supporters saw Tisei’s early lead evaporate. Some Tisei staffers appeared teary-eyed and embraced each other just minutes before 11 p.m. Many of the couple hundred who came earlier in the night had filed out by then.

“We’re still waiting for the small towns to report and hopefully when they do it will be to our advantage,” said Saugus state Rep. Donald Wong at about 10:30 p.m. “It’s going to be a photo finish.”

The race has been the closest for Tierney since his first victory in 1996, when he beat incumbent Republican Peter Torkildsen by 371 votes after a recount that lasted for weeks.

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