, Gloucester, MA

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January 20, 2010

Brown win sparks local Republicans

Tarr, Tierney foe Hudak see inspiration in victory

Republican Bill Hudak had already set up his 6th District congressional campaign headquarters in Danvers when Scott Brown entered the race for U.S. Senate last September.

Allies as attorneys, Hudak gave Brown full use of his cadre of volunteers, his phone system, signs for the improbable run to a Senate seat that fell to him Tuesday night, and "at least 100,000 minutes of phone calls for him," Hudak said with satisfaction and a bit of pride in a phone interview yesterday.

Brown took advantage of the loaner regional headquarters and Hudak's patronage to run even better in the 6th District — beating state Attorney General Martha Coakley by 16 points — than he did statewide en route to a 52-47 percent win in an historic upset.

The vote sends a Republican to the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts for the first time in 33 years.

Yesterday, Sen.-elect Brown returned the favor by endorsing Hudak's underdog campaign to oust Democrat John Tierney from the congressional seat he has held for 13 years.

"Bill was with us from the beginning," said Brown's endorsement statement. "Bill is not beholden to special interests and will help me bring the voice of the people to Washington."

For now, neither Tierney nor Hudak have primary opponents.

Gloucester state Sen. Bruce Tarr, who advises his state Senate Republican colleague Brown, said Tuesday's breakthrough gives Republicans everywhere a sense of real possibility that despite their registration deficit, the mass of unenrolled or independent voters are willing to consider and vote for a Republican.

"This (the Brown-Coakley) is a race that will be studied for its strategy immediately," Tarr said, "and for all history.

"The largest message of a lot of messages was, if you work hard and listen to the public, nothing is unachievable," said Tarr. "There's still a place for everyone in this democracy."

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