Boncore Wins Senate Primary:First Winthrop Resident Elected to Massachusetts State Senate

Joe Boncore enters the room at the Winthrop Lodge of Elks Tuesday night with hundreds cheering and celebrating with him just after the victory became official in the State Senate special election.

Joe Boncore enters the room at the Winthrop Lodge of Elks Tuesday night with hundreds cheering and celebrating with him just after the victory became official in the State Senate special election.

By Cary Shuman

Winthrop attorney Joseph Boncore prevailed over a strong field of candidates to win the First Suffolk and Middlesex State Senate Democratic Primary Tuesday.

Boncore, chairman of the Winthrop Housing Authority, received 4,013 votes to defeat six other candidates in the special election to fill the seat previously held by Anthony Petruccelli.

Revere Mayor Dan Rizzo was second with 3,626 votes, followed by State Rep. Jay Livingstone (2,807), Lydia Edwards (2,280), Diana Hwang (2,085), Steven Morabito (607) and Paul Rogers (175).

Because there are no Republican candidates in the race, Boncore is poised to make history in the general election on May 10 when he would become the first Winthrop resident elected to serve in the Massachusetts State Senate.

Boncore rode the tremendous support in his hometown to an impressive victory across the district. In Winthrop, Boncore received 2,123 votes, racking up 6-1 margins throughout the town’s six precincts. Boncore also took the top spot in the North End and received strong votes in East Boston, Revere, Beacon Hill, and Cambridge.

At the Boncore victory party at the Winthrop Lodge of Elks, supporters and friends enveloped the winning candidate with hugs and high fives. It was a triumphant welcome after a masterfully engineered campaign in a diverse district of approximately 172,000 residents. Boncore worked hard the past few months to deliver his message to voters and was joined on the trail by a number of energetic campaign volunteers, who believed that Boncore was the best person for the esteemed position of state senator.

One of those volunteers who knocked on doors for Boncore in Winthrop was Donna Segreti Reilly, wife of former Town Council President Thomas Reilly.

“I’ve worked a lot of campaigns in my day and I’ am just totally thrilled that Joseph Boncore will be our next state senator,” said Reilly. “I can’t tell you how elated I am. I believe in this young man. His values are in the right place and he has vision for the future.”

Town Councillors Russell Sanford, Linda Calla and Paul Varrone and past Council President Peter Gill were among the town officials congratulating Boncore.

“It’s great to have a local boy representing Winthrop,” said Sanford. “I know he’ll be fair to the other cities and towns around us but it’s nice to have a hometown boy.”

Added Calla, “I just want to congratulate Joe Boncore for an unbelievable campaign that he ran. He is really going to represent his district very well.”

Joseph Boncore thanked his volunteers in his acceptance speech and then spoke with reporters about his victory.

“It hasn’t really set in yet,” said Boncore. “This is a night for the volunteers, the campaign staff, and everyone who worked so hard to help this campaign to get to where it is. I had good people behind me who really cared about this seat, this town, and this district. And I’m so thankful to everyone who’s in this room because this is their win tonight.”

Boncore thanked his father, Councillor-at-Large Philip Boncore, for his encouragement and guidance in the hotly contested senate race.

“My dad has been incredible,” said Boncore. “There are few people that wanted this more than he did. He campaigned like he was a 20-year-old kid, knocking on doors every day. My mother was so supportive. My entire family was just so supportive throughout the entire race.”

Philip Boncore, who coached his son in the Winthrop Little League and has watched him excel at St. John’s Prep, Providence College, and Massachusetts School of Law and join him in the legal profession, was overwhelmed by the positive response to Joseph’s campaign throughout the district.

“I could never be prouder at this moment at any time in my life other than my children being born,” said Philip Boncore. “My son, Joe, has worked so hard to deserve this and he’s gotten it. He had hundreds of volunteers that worked for him, knocked doors, made calls, held signs, and they brought Joey in – the volunteers. The people of our district spoke and they wanted Joe Boncore for their senator and now Joe Boncore is going to be their senator and he will respond to those people who stood there for him.”

Former senator Petruccelli offered his congratulations in person to his would-be successor at the party.

“I congratulate Joe Boncore, his family, and his campaign supporters,” said Petruccelli. “It was a great victory and a really good election with seven candidates in a deep, diverse field. And Joe Boncore and his team did such a remarkable job of getting their message out and turning people out in the town of Winthrop. I think they exceeded everyone’s expectations about the level of turnout they could get in Winthrop.”

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