ELECTION 2009 – LIVE BLOG

Stick with us throughout the day as we live blog today’s election …

10:02 p.m.: O’Brien’s speech is coming to a close. A lot of thank yous and a very optimistic and cooperative tone. He’s ready to work with his rivals and the council, and is ready for action. … The party has started. Salsa music, dancing, Gilrein’s is packed.
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9:52 p.m.: At the Hibernian, Kate Toomey hugs and thanks supporters at her post-election party. “We’re fine,” she says, after finishing third in the mayoral race and 2nd in city council. “This was the first time I ran for mayor! I moved up in city council. I have been really blessed and have met so many wonderful people. I look forward to working with Mr. O’Brien.”
Back at Gilrein’s, O’Brien reaches out to Konnie, Kate and “My good friend Emmanuel.” People in the crowd yelling, “That’s right” after his sentences like they were at church.
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9:50 p.m.: In District 1, the race is being called for Joff Smith.

9:46 p.m.: O’Brien walks on stage to Van Morrison and the crowd chanting “Joe, Joe, Joe.”
O’Brien: “Today the people of Worcester said it’s time for. Change. Time to get this city moving again.”

9:45 p.m.: Isabel Gonzalez of O’Brien campaign says they called 5,000 people yesterday.

9:42 p.m.: Konnie: “If they liked me as mayor then they’re gonna like me as city councilor.”

9:37 p.m.: At Coney Island, Konnie Lukes’ post-election party. The only one here now is Konnie and son Peter. Looks like the party ended early after defeat.

9:36 p.m.: O’Brien has just walked into his party to cheers and gives Haller a hug. The music is upbeat and people have started dancing. Tim Murray is here, along with a number of state pols.
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9:34 p.m.: Rushton on WCRN following his win: Tonight “we turned the page… Have to respect Konnie for 30 years of service to the city” but voters not like her style. Says if he’d run for mayor, O’Brien wouldn’t have run. (O’Brien cleared it with him first.)

9:27 p.m.: Menino wins in Boston. Bet O’Brien’s victory speech is more coherent.

9:24 p.m.: About 200 votes separating Smith and Casello; but voting problem at Assumption. Too close to call.

9:20 p.m.: Haller campaign calling it for Joe O’Brien. The two campaigns were closely aligned, and now are getting ready to party together.

9:15 p.m.: Rosen: Konnie not see the importance of building consensus.
School committee: Tracy Novick and Bianchera in on school comm., Bogigian out.

9:12 p.m.: Frank Raffa gets 292 voters, 16%, respectable for a 24-hour write-in campaign. Speculation is that he ran in case Phil Palmieri doesn’t finish his term to pursue Vinny Pedone’s state rep. seat. Pedone being rumored to run for sheriff.

9:10 p.m.: Lukes in 5th place for city council, barely scraping by. Does this speak to waning popularity?

9:08 p.m.: O’Brien is a definite. City Hall is buzzing with excitement, as talk about Worcester having a new mayor begins to circulate.

9:07 p.m.: The party at Gilrein’s is in full swing. Blues music, all-you-can-eat wings and meat, and a festive atmosphere. Everyone waiting for Joe O’Brien to walk in.

9:06 p.m.: Clancy wins District 3.

8:59 p.m.: District 3 – Clancy 66% to Beshai’s 33.

8:52 p.m.: With 24 of 50 precincts, O’Brien in first with 50 percent, Konnie 27, Toomey 18, and Emmanuel 3. Gary Rosen calls it the “most scientific” campaign ever run, even better than Tim Murray’s.

8:49 p.m.: Joe O’Brien just posted on Facebook: “It’s a win ! Thanks to all who worked so hard.”

8:48 p.m: With 7 of 10 precincts reporting in D4, Haller looks like she’ll take it with 64 percent of votes right now, against Ross’ 36.
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8:45 p.m.: District 1 still no numbers in.

8:43 p.m.: Emmanuel is in 11th place for city council at large with 3 percent of votes!

8:42 p.m.: Mary Keefe currently in 6th place for city council at large with 8 percent of vote. Kola Akindele in 8th with 7 percent.

8:41 p.m.: Reports are that Barbara Haller is giving her victory speech at Gilrein’s. “For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Barbara Haller, the present and future District 4 representative!”

8:36 p.m.: O’Brien leading city councilor at large as well, with 15 percent, followed by Toomey with 12.

8:35 p.m.: Joe O’Brien, with 7 of 50 precincts in, ahead of Konnie Lukes by over 20 percent. 50 and 29

8:33 p.m.: Officially right now, 3 out of 10 precints in district 4 reporting, haller is well ahead with 60 percent of the vote.

8:30 p.m.: Source tells us that Joe O’Brien is ahead of Konnie Lukes and it is rumored that Joe Casello is going to beat Joff Smith. Also, it looks like there may be three new City Council members.

8:07 p.m.: City Clerk David Rushford says, “I think it was a smooth day. I don’t think our voter turnout was that great, but we were able to make multiple trips to each precinct, and it was overall a calm day.” In terms of turnout, Rushford says they’ll be getting the results in about 15 minutes, but doesn’t want to guess on it. “From what I observed today,” he says, “I would say in some areas turnout was respectable, but it others it was abysmal.”

8:00 p.m.: Polls are now closed. The candidates can rest easy, it’s out of their hands.

7:48: Nobody at Coney Island yet, where Mayor Lukes will hold her post election party.

7:07pm: With just a little under an hour left before polls close, Konnie Lukes is outside of Temple Emmanuel with supporters and friends.
“I’m feeling very positive,” she says, “and am looking forward to another two years, although it will be a tough two years. But we will get through it.” Lukes will be moving back and forth between Coney Island Hot Dog and City Hall after the polls close. “I’ll be tough to track without a GPS,” she jokes.

7:06p.m: Our guy at O’Brien headquarters says workers have been pounding the phones, getting out voters even at 7 p.m. The script:
“Hi my name is (fill in the blank) on behalf of the O’Brien campaign. Did you manage to get out and vote today? Did you happen to vote for Joe O’Brien? Did your other family members vote as well (caller lists off family members’ names)?” Then they offer a ride to the polls. Very organized.
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6:22pm: Barbara Haller is at her headquarters on Main Street. “This is the calm before the storm,” she says. “We’ve been driving around all day and it looks like District 4 is going to hold its numbers from a couple years ago.” Asked if she had any jitters. “Always,” she says. “It’s been a real roller coaster ride this time around.”

6:15pm: Grace Ross, running for District 4 City Councilor, says “I’m all about concrete results, so I don’t have any opinion right now because we don’t know anything yet.” Ross has been phone banking and out knocking on people’s doors to get them to go vote. “The exciting thing tonight is going to be seeing what happens with the Latino vote,” she says. “If there is a big Latino turnout that will put us over the top.” Ross will be at the Crescent Cafe on Canterbury Street tonight.

5:40 p.m. In case you were wondering, here’s the lineup of victory/lick-your-wounds postmortem locations tonight:
– Konnie Lukes, Coney Island
– Joe O’Brien, Gilrein’s
– Kate Toomey, Hibernian Center on Green Street (where we hear the place will be well stocked with pizza)
No word on Emmanuel Tsitsilianos.

5:01: As it starts to drizzle supporters outside the First Unitarian Church on Shore Drive bundle up to stay warm. Joff Smith just left, but over the phone says, “I feel good. We’ve had some great volunteers on this campaign and have had a lot of support.”
Joe Casello just left the church parking lot, but his wife Josephine got him on the phone as well. “He’s out delivering coffee right now,” she says. Once we get Casello on the line, he admits, “I’m nervous, to be honest. I’m like a little boy on Christmas Eve just waiting for Christmas Day. Today has all been a blur, I can’t believe it’s already 5pm.”

4:33 p.m. The blog master is running out to vote. Will be back shortly …

4:27pm: Back at Temple Emmanuel, more sign holders are gathering outside as the sun sets. Growing number of Toomey signs since earlier this afternoon. O’Brien, Petty still greeting voters. Voter traffic flow still weak (people are trickling in).
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4:18pm: Tsitsilianos still waving his campaign sign on Chandler and Park. Still alone…

2:57pm: A source tells us that Konnie Lukes is driving voters to and from the polls. Still no confirmation on her exact whereabouts.

2:21pm: Mayoral candidate Kate Toomey is making phone calls and counting numbers at her headquarters on Green Street. “I voted at 7am this morning at Big Y, first voter in,” she says. “I feel great, we’ve done everything we could and we’ve worked hard. As I was outside Temple Emanuel earlier there were so many people honking and giving us the thumbs up, saying ‘you’re in’.”

1:51pm: Back at Temple Emanuel. The voting demographer here is slightly skewed. Three people just walked in with canes.

1:20pm: Mayoral candidate Emmanuel Tsitslianos holds up a campaign sign at the corner of Chandler and Park by himself. Says Tsitsilianos “I feel great! Absolutely. I mean look at these people (pointing to cars driving by),” but not before criticizing Worcester Mag and the T&G for their coverage of him.
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1:02pm: Still waiting on Kate Toomey to make an appearance. Polling clerks says O’Brien and Lukes have both been here today, but no Toomey or Tsitsilianos.

12:50 p.m. School Committee candidate Tracy Novick has sported the color yellow at the majority of her appearances in the past months. Today, outside of polling center Temple Emmanuel, husband Colin Novick showed support by wearing a yellow scarf, yellow t-shirt, and held a stick with four yellow NOVICK campaign signs. If elected, will Worcester go to yellow uniforms for students?
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12:40pm: Steady stream of voters coming in and out Temple Emmanuel. Mostly senior citizens. Joe O’Brien, Joe Petty picketing outside, among others. Says O’Brien “I feel great, a little under the weather today but I feel great.”

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Joe Petty says “I’m feeling good. You can’t help but be a little nervous about what’s going to happen though.”

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “ELECTION 2009 – LIVE BLOG

  1. Mike

    I’ll ask the question – what car did she use to drive them to and from the polls? Is it registered in the city?

  2. What car?
    Is this really what the voters want to know?
    And is this what WOMAG thinks we want to know?
    Hey, tell us what the turn turnout rates are.
    Pettiness. That’s what Democracy is all about.

    Hey I’m going to bed folks. And so should you.
    The election has been called off because of apathy.

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