Fluker Oakley leads pack in 12th Suffolk

Brandy Fluker Oakley, right, won the nomination for the 12th Suffolk House seat on Tuesday. Above, she campaigned with Brenda Fluker and Adrianne Mayo-Dunn at Florian Hall. Katie Trojano photo

Bandy Fluker Oakley

Brandy Fluker Oakley, an attorney and education advocate from Mattapan, won a four-person contest for the 12th Suffolk House seat in Dorchester, Mattapan, Hyde Park and Milton in Tuesday’s primary election. According to unofficial results from both Boston and Milton precincts, Fluker Oakley finished with 4,047 votes in her column, or about 39 percent of the total votes cast. The runner-up was Jovan Lacet, who finished with 3,144 votes, roughly 30 percent.

Fluker Oakley’s victory— once certified— will mean she will replace Rep. Dan Cullinane, who announced earlier this year that he would not seek re-election. There will be no opposition for her on the Nov. 3 final election.

“It is the honor of a lifetime to be elected to represent you on Beacon Hill. This campaign has always been about community. The streets of this district are my home and its voters are my neighbors,” Fluker Oakley said during a Facebook live event late Tuesday night.

“I will always view the successes and challenges of our community’s kids, businesses, schools and seniors as my own. This is what fueled my campaign and will energize my work as state representative. Together we will strengthen the partnership between the policy and the people in doing so.”

Fluker Oakley also took a moment to thank her opponents and Rep. Cullinane.

“I want to thank Jovan Lacet and Stephanie Everett for the opportunity to share this campaign with you and to Rep. Cullinane for his selfless service to our community,” she said, “Most importantly I want to thank God, my incredible volunteers, friend, supporters, family and my mom, without whom this victory wouldn’t be possible.”

Added Fluker Oakley: “We are at a pivotal moment in our nation’s history. I am eager to start my service on behalf of the 12th Suffolk District so we can start building a happier, more inclusive, and just tomorrow. Now let’s get to work!”

Sen. Nick Collins, who defeated his primary challenger Samuel Pierce on the ballot, took to Twitter to congratulate Fluker Oakley last night.

“Congratulations to my friend and fellow Latin grad, @TeamBrandy617, on being elected the democratic nominee for State representative in the 12th Suffolk! Looking forward to partnering with you to serve the people of Mattapan and Dorchester,” he wrote.

At-large City Councillor Annissa Essaibi-George, who endorsed Fluker Oakley in August, also congratulated Fluker Oakley on Twitter.

“Congrats to @TeamBrandy617 and all the candidates hoping to represent the 12th. Government is a team sport, and everyone needs to be a part of the future!”

A former teacher and public defender in the Boston Municipal and Chelsea district courts, Fluker Oakley joined the race as a first-time candidate. Early on and throughout her campaign she regularly notched impressive endorsements from several elected officials, environmental groups, and both the Boston Teachers Union and the Massachusetts Teachers Association. She led the field in fundraising and mounted an aggressive and effective direct mail and digital campaign to reach voters in their homes and on mobile devices.

Earlier on Tuesday, she spoke to the Reporter about her expectations outside of Florian Hall, as voters trickled in to cast their ballots.

“Obviously, you know this is my first time and it has been a mix of anxiety and excitement all rolled into one I’m so proud of this campaign that we’ve run. we’ve put out several mailers, We’ve been phone banking since May, and hitting the pavement where we could safely,” said Fluker-Oakley.

“I’ve been feeling good about the energy from voters. All day we’ve been travelling to different polling locations and I’m feeling optimistic, so we’ll see what happens later tonight.”

Her optimism was warranted.

When the first unofficial results from polls began to roll in, Fluker Oakley was in first-place in many bellwether polling locations, including Florian Hall’s 16-11 precinct, Ashmont-Adams (16-8) and Lower Mills Library (17-13). She also won in battleground Mattapan precincts including Mildred Avenue. And, critically, she dominated the field in Milton’s two precincts.

Lacet, a Mattapan-based attorney and former US Marine and Boston Police officer, waged two unsuccessful campaigns against Cullinane in the last two election cycles. On Tuesday, Fluker Oakley beat Lacet at some of the polling stations where Lacet topped Cullinane in 2018. Lacet was the top vote-getter at Lower Mills’ precinct 17-14 and at the Taylor School on Morton Street.

Everett, an attorney and Mattapan resident who ran unsuccessfully for the 12th Suffolk seat in 2013, finished in third place with about 21 percent of the vote.

Cameron Charbonnier, an aide to Mayor Martin Walsh, suspended his campaign during the summer and endorsed Everett. But, Charbonnier’s name remained on the ballot. He collected significant vote totals near his home in Dorchester and finished with about 8 percent of the total vote.