By John Lynds and Josh Resnek
East Boston Representative Anthony Petruccelli cruised to a convincing victory over Revere city councilor Dan Rizzo in light balloting in Tuesday’s special primary election. He will take former senator Robert Travaglini’s place in the state senate.
“We did it the old fashioned way, working hard, taking the high road, meeting the people and talking about issues. My family and I are overwhelmed by the support that the people of this district gave to me in this election,” Petruccelli said at his campaign party at the Logan Hilton.
“I will do my best to serve this district with integrity and intelligence,” he added.
The unofficial results of the balloting show Petruccelli with 7680 votes versus Rizzo with 5234.
In Winthrop, considered by some handicappers early on to be a battleground, Petruccelli bested Rizzo 1741-576.
Rizzo carried Revere convincingly, 3622-950. Petruccelli did the same to Rizzo in East Boston, 2651-330. In the remainder of the sprawling district, Petruccelli won by wide margins. In Cambridge, where the vote was especially weak, with only 1600 coming out of a total of more than 20,000, Petruccelli mauled Rizzo by a 3-1 margin, 1362-473.
In the North End Petruccelli beat Rizzo 771-197 and on Beacon Hill, Petruccelli scored 325 to Rizzo’s 66.
Petruccelli’s campaign was highly organized from the start. With the support of former senator Travaglini, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, House Speaker Sal DiMasi and Boston City Councillor Sal LaMattina, Petruccelli’s momentum into primary day proved to be too much for Rizzo’s forces to overcome.
In Revere, Rizzo’s forces had hoped to pull out a large vote that would have made a Petruccelli victory in the rest of the district insurmountable. It never materialized. Revere’s turnout was under 20%, a disappointment to Rizzo and his supporters.
Also notable was that Petruccelli received more than 1000 votes from Revere voters, a fact he will no doubt attribute to the support he received from Representative Kathi Anne Reinstein.