Dan Cullinane, a former aide to state Rep. Marty Walsh and ex-Councillor Maureen Feeney, won a three-way special Democratic primary in the 12th Suffolk House District on Tuesday.
The other Democrats running in the race to replace Linda Dorcena Forry, who ascended to the state Senate in June, were Stephanie Everett, a former aide to state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, and Mary Tuitt, who works as an aide to state Rep. Gloria Fox.
According to unofficial results posted on the city's Elections Department website, with 15 out of 15 precincts reporting, Cullinane had 1,372 votes, or 60.39 percent. Everett had 21.74 percent, and Mary Tuit had 14.26 percent of the vote. Cullinane also romped in Milton, according to his campaign.
Cullinane, who also worked on John O’Toole’s District 3 campaign in 2011 and served as field director of Dorcena Forry’s Senate campaign, will face off against two independents – Lincoln Larmond of Mattapan and Edmond Romulus of Milton – in the Sept. 10 final.
"The work of a lot of great people in each of the communities throughout the 12th Suffolk made this happen," Cullinane said after a victory speech at the Ledge restaurant in Lower Mills. "Diversity was our strength on this campaign."
Cullinane was endorsed by Suffolk Sheriff Steve Tompkins, former Councillor Feeney, and a number of labor organizations. "Each component played a part but it was truly about the hours of door-knocking each and every day, meeting voters at their homes, that truly won this race," Cullinane said.
Everett, who had been endorsed by her former boss, Chang-Diaz, held her election party up the road, at Tavolo. "We fought the good fight," she said. "We knocked doors. We did everything we needed to do."
Asked if she would consider another run next year, when there will be a 12th Suffolk House race during a normal election cycle, Everett said, "Today? No." But she did not rule out a future run for the seat.
She said she plans to focus on her family for the rest of the year.
The seat, situated in a district considered to be deeply blue, was once held by former House Speaker Thomas Finneran, a Mattapan Democrat.
The district, which has parts of Dorchester, Mattapan and Hyde Park, includes Ward 16’s Precincts 8 and 11, Ward 17’s Precincts 4 and 10 through 14, and Ward 18’s Precincts 1 through 6 and Precinct 21. The district also includes two precincts in Milton.
Voter turnout remained light throughout the day, with 1,784 people hitting the polls by 6 p.m., according to the city's Elections Department.
Nils Tracy, Everett's campaign manager, said voter fatigue was a factor in the race. "The staff, the money is spread out through a million campaigns," he said, pointing to a 12-person mayoral field. "People were stretched thin."
But Cullinane’s team also proved to be more skilled at driving out his identified voters. Cullinane carried all but two polling stations—Mildred Ave. Middle School, where Everett beat him by 20 votes, and the Taylor School on Morton Street, where Tuitt tied Cullinane at 45 apiece. Elsewhere, Cullinane ran up lopsided tally-sheets, including in Lower Mills, Ashmont, Cedar Grove and predominantly-minority precincts in Mattapan and Hyde Park.
UPDATE: This story was updated at 9:31 p.m. with results from the city's elections department and remarks from Cullinane. It was updated again at 11:47 p.m. with additional results and reactions from Team Everett. This story was updated a third time on Wednesday at 11:41 a.m. with preliminary precinct numbers from the city of Boston's Elections Department.