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Candidates Seek Recounts in Two State Representative Races – Result Will Determine Magnitude of Massachusetts GOP Losses – NewBostonPost > Massachusetts

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By Chris Lisinski
State House Intelligence Service

Candidates in two Massachusetts legislature races, each apparently decided by just 10 votes, want election officials to take another look at the thousands of ballots cast.

Kristin Kassner of Hamilton, a Democrat who was challenging an incumbent North Shore incumbent, and Andrew Shepherd of Townsend, a Republican running for an open seat in the Nashoba Valley, filed petitions asking for district-wide recounts in their contests asked, according to a spokesman for Secretary of State William Galvin.

The recounts – and, as a result, a final decision in both districts – may not be completed for several weeks. Galvin spokeswoman Deb O’Malley said the secretary could not order the recounts until the Board of Governors, which is due to meet on Wednesday November 30, confirm the election results.

In both cases, the candidate seeking a recount appears to have lost less than a dozen votes. With almost 20,000 votes counted in the First Middlesex District and more than 23,000 in the Second Essex District, the microscopic margins would both be well below the threshold – half a percentage point of all votes – required for a recount.

Zack Gavel, campaign manager for Pepperell Democrat Margaret Scarsdale, told the State House News Service she was leading by 10 votes over Republican nominee Shepherd. Both potential newcomers hope to win an open district representing Ashby, Dunstable, Pepperell, Townsend and parts of Groton and Lunenburg. The legislature reshaped the district during the last round of redistricting; His predecessor district was held by Republican State Representative Sheila Harrington of Groton until she resigned to join the judiciary.

Meanwhile, five-year Republican state assemblyman Leonard Mirra of Georgetown had an identical 10-vote lead over Kassner, according to a State House News Service tally of publicly available results from the district that includes Georgetown, Hamilton, Ipswich, Newbury, Rowley, and part of Topsfield.

The outcome of the two unresolved races will determine whether Democrats, who already have majority margins in both houses, can complete a three-, four- or five-seat pickup in the House of Representatives compared to their margins at the start of the 2021-2022 season.

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