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 Tuesdayâ€™s special primary election. He will take former senator Robert Travagliniâ€™s place in the state senate.
â€œWe 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,â€ Petruccelli said at his campaign party at the Logan Hilton.
â€œI will do my best to serve this district with integrity and intelligence,â€ 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 Rizzoâ€™s 66.
Petruccelliâ€™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, Petruccelliâ€™s momentum into primary day proved to be too much for Rizzoâ€™s forces to overcome.
In Revere, Rizzoâ€™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. Revereâ€™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.