Voters in Massachusetts reaffirmed the state’s liberal tradition Tuesday and made history by electing the state’s first female US Senator. WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill was at the victory celebration in Boston for senator-elect Elizabeth Warren.
Warren, a first time candidate, who was relatively unknown a year ago, defeated popular Republican incumbent Senator Scott Brown.
Warren took the stage in the Imperial Ballroom of the Fairmont Copley Plaza hotel just before 11 to deliver a victory speech that repeated the populist themes of her campaign. She pledged to help the middle class recover economically, to protect Medicare, Social Security and student loans. She said she would continue the fight for equal pay for equal work for women.
Warren’s campaign set a record for fund raising. The Massachusetts Democratic party executed an unprecedented grassroots organizing effort that culminated with a huge get out the vote effort for Warren on Tuesday. In her speech, Warren thanked many of the state’s Democratic office holders, including Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino. She also acknowledged the support of organized labor, environmental groups, women’s groups, and the state’s LGBT community.
Warren recalled the people she met during the campaign and how she was moved by their personal stories .
Senator Brown’s upset win in the 2010 special election that followed the death of Edward Kennedy was a bitter blow to Massachusetts Democrats. Warren re-claimed the seat 50 years to the day Edward Kennedy was first elected to the Senate.
Governor Patrick called Warren’s election a tremendous victory for the people of Massachusetts. He said it proved that conviction, issues and grassroots matter.
Women who packed into the ballroom to celebrate Warren’s victory were thrilled that a glass ceiling in Massachusetts politics had at long last been broken. This is Cynthia Curtis of Wellesley
Exit polls showed a big gender gap in Tuesday’s senate election, with Warren beating Brown by 20percent among women voters.