Brockton gives Mike Brady winning edge in Senate race
BROCKTON – Mike Brady thought of one person on election night – the late state Sen. Tom Kennedy.
Brady said Kennedy, a Brockton Democrat and political scion who died in June, was a mentor to him for years. If Brady’s tie wasn’t on straight, Kennedy would tell him.
Now Brady, a state representative who was elected to Kennedy’s seat in a special election Tuesday, said he hopes to continue Kennedy’s work.
“He had a great work ethic and advocacy for the district. I’m honored to serve as the next senator in the district,” Brady, 53, said minutes after election results declared him as the winner of the 2nd Plymouth and Bristol Senate seat. “I’m looking forward to doing the work.”
Brady captured 57 percent of the vote against opponent Geoff Diehl, a Whitman Republican and state representative, and Independent Anna Raduc of Halifax.
Brady took the most votes from Brockton, the largest community in the district that also includes East Bridgewater, Easton, Whitman, Hanson, Hanover, Halifax and Plympton.
Brady won with a total of 14,381 votes, Diehl garnered 10,242 votes and Raduc, 648. While Diehl took six towns – Whitman, East Bridgewater, Halifax, Hanover, Hanson and Plympton – collectively that was not enough to edge out Brady, who won 73 percent of the vote in Brockton, with 11,193 votes.
Diehl could not be reached for comment Tuesday night. Ahead of Tuesday’s special election, Diehl had raised about twice as much as Brady. Diehl pulled in $117,081 between July 1 and Oct. 16, compared to Brady’s $58,955 over the same period, according to Office of Campaign and Political Finance data.
The race was the only special election for state office in Massachusetts on Tuesday. It drew interest from outside groups, including a multi-state Republican organization and an environmental group.
Brady said issues that he will focus on as a state senator include revenue across the district, supporting public schools, proper staffing levels in healthcare facilities and the opiate addiction crisis “which is devastating a lot of families out there.”
“We have to continue to address that issue. We have to do more to help these families that are suffering,” he said. Brady has served as state representative for the 9th Plymouth District for seven years and as vice chairman of the House Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets. Before that, he served on the Brockton School Committee in the late 1990s before serving on the City Council for 13 years.
Diehl was elected as state representative for the 7th Plymouth District in 2010, when he rode a Republican wave to upsetting Democratic incumbent Allen McCarthy.
Democrats have had firm control of the seat for more than two decades under the stewardship of Kennedy, the late senator, and his predecessor, former state Sen. Robert Creedon.
Brady said he’s grateful to his supporters and volunteers.
“I give credit to everyone else who had their hat in the ring,” he said. “We had two other great candidates, but the team effort we had carried us over to the finish.”