Overcoming approximately $5 million in advertising dollars — much of it from Washington-based super PACs aimed at eroding his reputation — Congressman John Tierney completed an improbable comeback win over Republican Richard Tisei with impressive margins in the cities of Lynn, his hometown Salem and the fishing port of Gloucester to earn a ninth term in Congress.
The formal concession from Tisei was issued via email at 2 p.m. Wednesday, 18 hours after the polls closed at 8 p.m. Tuesday. The 2010 nominee for lieutenant governor and 26-year state legislator from Wakefield issued a statement in which he said, “I congratulate him (Tierney) on his victory” even as Tisei underscored “concerns about (electoral) irregularities in some areas of the district.”
Other reports Wednesday saw Tisei campaign manager Tom Moore raising questions about alleged voting irregularities in Lynn, where Tierney routed Tisei by a margin of nearly 3-to-1.
But Tisei’s statement Wednesday indicated that he’d leave “the investigation of those matters to others.”
Tierney effectively won the election by rolling up a lead of 23,429 in the three cities, highlighted by Lynn totals, in which the city with a major General Electric plant and 3,000 employees, went for Tierney, 21,631 to 8,122.
Tisei actually carried 28 of the 39 municipalities in the district, which runs from labor union, urban Lynn to polo-centric Hamilton and includes the heavily populated suburbs and cities along Route 128 and Route 1 starting in Saugus.
Tierney’s winning margin was 3,750 votes — or 1.2 percent — of 372,224 votes cast, and due to the presence in the race of Libertarian Daniel Fishman who drew 16,668 votes, Tierney’s winning percentage was a plurality, 48.4 percent.
Not even all Tierney operatives saw the comeback coming, but the power showed where Tierney and Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren “ran a coordinated volunteer effort” across the district, said Kristian Hoysradt, political director of the Tierney campaign who helped engineer Mayor Carolyn Kirk’s first mayoral campaign, an upset win in 2007.