HAVERHILL - Newburyport Democrat Kathleen O’Connor Ives won the state senate seat for the First Essex District with a convincing win over Republican Shaun Toohey of Haverhill, and independents James Kelcourse of Amesbury and Paul Magliocchetti of Haverhill in yesterday’s election.
Incomplete returns showed O’Connor Ives with 26,642 votes, Toohey with 17,402, Kelcourse with 3,019 and Magliocchetti with 2,747.
In Haverhill, O’Connor Ives tallied 9,481 votes, just ahead of Toohey’s 9,025 and Magliocchetti’s 7,292. Kelcourse finished a distant fourth with 318 votes. A total of 27,723 voters cast a ballot in Haverhill, where all but Kelcourse held their post-election gatherings at local restaurants.
”This is a great victory for everyone here as well as for me,” said O’Connor Ives, a three-term city councilor from Newburyport upon accepting victory. “We are going to continue to work for more health care, better higher education and affordable education.
”It was a long campaign with a lot of knocking on doors. You have been with me every step of the way, and we will be together in working for a better Merrimack Valley.”
Neither Toohey nor Magliocchetti could be reached for comment last night.
Close to 200 supporters filled DiBurro’s function hall in Haverhill, and it wasn’t until 9:35 p.m. that a cautious O’Connor Ives accepted victory after concession phone calls from opponents.
In an interview after her speech, she said, “One big challenge in the race was getting to know the western part of the district, and meeting the people there.
”Also, there was a short window of time to get ready for the primary, and then another short time to the final election.
”But my supporters were fully behind me, and did a great deal of work. Everyone worked hard and the result was this great victory. This is so exciting.”