Congressman John Tierney claimed victory early this morning, with a razor-thin margin separating him from Republican challenger Richard Tisei in the 6th Congressional District race.
“You own this. This is your victory,” Tierney told a crowd of enthusiastic supporters at the Hawthorne Hotel.
“It was ugly, it was nasty, it was expensive for them,” he said of the campaign, which drew a total of more than $4.5 million in newly unlimited Super-PAC campaign spending, $3 million of it negatively targeting Tierney. “... But we had people who stayed with it all the way, never gave up faith and never gave up hope.”
Results at press time had Tierney at 48.4 percent and Tisei at 47.2 percent. But while Tisei shut down his headquarters at midnight, he did not concede the election, and his campaign manager alleged voting irregularities in Lynn, wich Tierney carried by a roughly 3-to-1 margin.
“We’re just going to wait until everything comes in and then double-check the numbers,” Tisei said, adding that a few communities were still counting and others had incomplete precincts. Asked if he would request a recount, he said he didn’t know, but said the campaign would be looking closely at numbers from Lynn, where he believed there were some anomalies.
Tisei’s campaign manager, Paul Moore, said some of the returns in Lynn “were extremely odd. For Richard Tisei to underperform Bill Hudak in Lynn is completely bizarre. A couple precincts are completely unbelievable.”
However, he said the threshold to hold a recount is within 0.5 percent, and, as of early this morning, the difference between the two candidates’ totals was 0.7 percent.
As expected, Tisei did well in the western and northwestern parts of the district, while Tierney dominated the cities, including wins in Salem, Peabody, Beverly, Lynn and Gloucester — where he outpolled Tisei by a count of 8,726 to 5,669. Overall, Tierney’s lead this morning held at 179,603 to 175,953 for Tisei. Beverly Libertarian Daniel Fishman drew 16,668 votes, or 4.6 percent.