BOSTON — Polls closed in 53 cities and towns across Massachusetts on Tuesday with voters deciding several mayoral contests in an otherwise low-key Election Day in Massachusetts.
One of the highlights of the day was the spirited race to succeed the late Democratic state Sen. Thomas Kennedy, who died in June after battling cancer. In that contest, Democratic state Rep. Michael Brady of Brockton defeated Republican state Rep. Geoff Diehl of Whitman. A little-known independent, Anna Raduc, was also on the ballot.
The special election in a district encompassing Brockton and surrounding towns had drawn considerable attention from both of the state's major parties.
The contest shaped up as an early test of whether Republican Gov. Charlie Baker's popularity might rub off on down ticket GOP candidates for the Legislature, where Democrats still hold an overwhelming majority in both chambers.
Baker, who carried the Senate district while winning the governor's office last November, had campaigned on behalf of Diehl.
Democrats tried to tie Diehl to the tea party, suggesting he is too conservative for the district. Diehl denied being associated with the tea party and has painted Brady as beholden to labor unions and Beacon Hill special interests.
Senate President Stan Rosenberg said Brady will be a welcome addition to the 40-member chamber, saying he ran a great campaign against a tough opponent.
"He will carry on the legacy of our late colleague Senator Tom Kennedy representing the working families of his district," Rosenberg, D-Amherst, said in a written statement.
There also were mayoral elections in two dozen communities including Springfield, Worcester, Quincy and Weymouth.
In Quincy, incumbent Thomas Koch easily defeated William Phelan, a former mayor of the city. In nearby Weymouth, veteran Republican state Sen. Robert Hedlund unseated incumbent Mayor Susan Kay.
In Worcester, incumbent Mayor Joseph Petty defeated two other Worcester city council candidates, Michael Gaffney and William Coleman. Under Worcester's city manager government, the mayor serves as city council chairman and ceremonial head of the city.
In Springfield, incumbent Domenic Sarno easily won another four-year term, defeating Salvatore Circosta, a 29-year-old business manager.
In North Adams, Mayor Richard Alcombright defeated the man he beat six years ago, former Mayor John Barrett III. In Chicopee, incumbent Mayor Richard Kos brushed back a challenge from former Mayor Michael Bissonnette.
There was no mayoral election in Boston, where incumbent Marty Walsh is midway through his first four-year term. There were a handful of contested city council races in the city.