Incumbent Cong. William Keating fought off a primary challenger Sept. 6 to secure a spot on the November ballot for ninth district, while a Plymouth businessman was finally named the winner in a narrow GOP contest.
The results of the Democratic primary race for the governor’s council are still up in the air, with a recount underway.
The Secretary of State certified Christopher Sheldon, 34, as the winner of last Thursday’s primary, with Mr. Sheldon defeating Adam Chaprales, 28, of Barnstable, by 79 votes. The final tally was 11,046 to 10,967.
The race previously had been too close to call; unofficial results last Friday showed Mr. Chaprales winning by about 40 votes.
Brian McNiff, a spokesman for the Secretary of State, said that Mr. Sheldon had requested a recount in 11 towns, but he put a stop to the request Tuesday, with Mr. Chaprales agreeing to that decision.
“I am disappointed to learn of this result, but I immediately called Chris Sheldon to congratulate him on a hard-fought race and to pledge him my full support in the general election,” Mr. Chaprales said in a statement on his campaign website. He said he agreed to discontinue the recount “out of my belief that a recount would not serve the best interest of the municipal governments that would need to fund it, or the Republican Party as it chooses a nominee.”
In a press release, Mr. Sheldon praised Mr. Chaprales and focused on November’s race against Mr. Keating.
“Going forward our campaign isn’t going to pull any punches when it comes to our race against Representative Keating,” Mr. Sheldon said in a press release. “Unlike the 2010 race, he isn’t going to be able to hide in his basement and run a mudslinging campaign. He will have to debate me on the issues, he will have to explain why he voted against repealing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) 31 times, how the policies he has voted for and support have repeatedly failed to turn this economy around, and why — after serving in elected office since the age of 25 — he considers himself to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.”
Mr. Sheldon, a self-employed consultant, told the Gazette before the election that he opposes the Affordable Health Care Act and Cape Wind, and that he thinks Mr. Keating is a vulnerable candidate.
Mr. Keating, who defeated Bristol County district attorney Samuel Sutter, told the Gazette this week that he’s still focused on work in Washington, but he criticized the Republican-majority house for setting a lackluster agenda. “I think they’re content to let the election transpire,” he said.
“I’d rather be here getting things done,” he said, especially in relation to jobs, but he said he’ll be in the district campaigning and having coffee with constituents in October, depending on the congressional schedule.
“There’s too much gridlock right now,” he said.
On the Vineyard, Mr. Keating won in all six Vineyard towns. Islandwide, he won about 60 per cent of the Democratic ballots cast, compared to Mr. Sutter’s 37 per cent.
On the Republican side, Mr. Chaprales won in five of six towns, receiving about 48 per cent of Republican votes compared to Mr. Sheldon’s 38 per cent. The two tied in Aquinnah, with one vote apiece.
On the Vineyard, turnout for the primary, which took place on an unusual Thursday date, averaged about 15 per cent. There were 1,547 Democratic ballots cast, 366 Republican ballots, and four Green-Rainbow ballots.
For the state primary, 13,623 voters registered in Dukes County: 7,206 registered as unenrolled, and there were 4,926 Democrats, 1,420 Republicans, and 25 Green-Rainbow voters.
Meanwhile, a district-wide recount is underway for a seat on the first district governor’s council. The governor’s council has eight elected members, who oversee and approve several things, including pardons and commutations and the governor’s appointments for judges, clerk magistrates and parole board.
Results showed a close three-way race between the three Democrats on the primary ballot: Oliver Cipollini Jr. has 16,888 votes, Nicholas D. Bernier has 16,791 votes, and Walter Moniz has 16,279 votes.
Mr. McNiff said Mr. Bernier requested a recount, which will be completed by Friday afternoon.
The winner of that race will face incumbent Republican Charles Cipollini (Oliver Cipollini’s brother) in November. The primary marked the first time the new ninth district voted as a group; the district was created last fall during redistricting. The new district contains most of the old 10th district, including the Cape and Islands and Plymouth, but not Quincy and surrounding towns, and now includes New Bedford and part of Fall River.