A close vote for Republican Charlie Baker in Revere is being considered nothing less than a victory this week for local Republicans, as well as for many local Democrats who broke ranks and supported Baker.
Though Baker came up about 234 votes short of winning Revere, he scored big in key precincts around Ward 6 and showed up strong in an area that has almost uniformly gone Democratic. The only exception to that rule has been Martha Coakley’s last race for U.S. Senator with Scott Brown, when Revere flipped for the Republican.
Those who had supported Baker and running mate Karyn Polito during the race noted that having an organization in the city paid off – nudging to the fact that Baker also prevailed in Winthrop. It was, interestingly enough, not the case in surrounding cities such as Chelsea and Everett, where Coakley easily won.
“I’m really, really thrilled with the results in Revere,” said Jim Guido, a police captain who supported Baker. “I would have liked to have won Revere, but that’s close enough for Revere to be a win…It shows that having some organization in the community can make a difference. People remember Karyn from four years ago and we stayed friendly with her. When she became a candidate for Lt. Gov., she started it out in Revere again. People really liked her here four years ago and remembered her and were excited to be part of it.”
Joyce Kelly, a member of the Revere Republican City Committee, said she believed the campaign did well in Revere because of the enthusiasm from the local Committee and newfound volunteers – many whom were Democrats who chose not to support Coakley’s bid.
“I was disappointed that Charlie didn’t surpass Martha Coakley in votes, but close is almost a win,” she said. “I definitely feel that Charlie and Karyn did very well in Revere because of the help and support they received from the Revere Republican City Committee. We were in close contact with Charlie’s campaign office, sending our members to make phone calls at the Mass Victory Office on a weekly basis, as well as doing the old fashioned door-knocking.”
That sentiment of Democrats trusting Baker more than Coakley was echoed by Republican Committee member Bill Jackson.
“The people of Revere may be overwhelmingly Democrats but in the election last week hundreds of them voted for Charlie Baker, the Republican candidate for Governor of Massachusetts,” he said. “He came very close to carrying Revere. I believe one of the main reasons they supported him was the respect he showed to our city by coming here so many times while his opponent was rarely, if ever, seen here.”
One of those Democrats who chose to back Baker rather than Coakley was City Councillor Brian Arrigo. He had endorsed Baker in late September and was glad to see him win.
“Tuesday’s election showed that the residents of Massachusetts value competence over anything else and wanted to vote for a Governor who is ready to hit the ground running,” he said. “It is a great win for the Revere campaign team especially Capt. Jim Guido and Bob Cronin.”
One of Baker’s longest and earliest supporters was Council President Tony Zambuto. He said the election results here that nearly tipped for Baker showed that voters value a good candidate over party affiliation.
“We did well here,” he said. “The people of Revere are not monolithic Democratic voters. If they see someone they like, they’ll cross over. I’d like to think we helped that out as a Committee. He was here a lot, for Columbus Day Parade last year, the Sandcastle Festival and visits with the mayor. He likes Revere. We’re going to do well with Charlie Baker because he understand municipal finance and the importance of restoring local aid to cities and towns like Revere. I think we’ll do better with him than we would have with a Democrat, and I think Revere voters recognized that too.”