State Rep. Josh Cutler, D-Duxbury, cruised to a third term over former Pembroke Selectman Vince Cogliano on strong numbers in all three 6th Plymouth District communities of Hanson, Pembroke and four Duxbury precincts.
“I’m a big believer in the best way to keep your job is to do your job, and I work hard — and I think folks recognize that — and I feel honored that they’re sending me back for another two years,” Cutler said.
In Hanson, Cutler garnered 3,718 votes to Cogliano’s 2,045. Pembroke delivered 8,853 votes for Cutler to 4,648 for Cogliano and from Duxbury’s precincts 2 through 6 were 5,135 for Cutler to 2,603 for Cogliano.
Cutler received 64 percent of the voted (15,173 votes in total) while his opponent received 36 percent of the vote (8,550 total votes).
“It’s an honor to serve,” Cutler said. “I love my job. With the presidential election being a nail-biter, it’s nice we can bring people together who don’t always agree on things.”
Previously, he won the 2014 and 2012 elections, but never by as wide of a margin as this campaign. In those two, he never received more than 55 percent of the vote.
“Even a one vote victory would have been gratifying,” he said. “But I am appreciative of the voters for sending me back for another term. I appreciate my opponent running a classy race and I’ve always thought the best way to keep your job is to do your job.
“Hopefully, the voters recognize that, too, and I’m ready to go back to work,” he added. “I’m truly honored by the result and am looking for another two more years doing work for Pembroke, Hanson and Duxbury.”
Unlike the nail-biter going on in the presidential campaign — projected behind Cutler on TV screens during a joint election-night party with state Rep. Jim Cantwell, D-Marshfield, at Marshfield’s Cask N’ Flagon restaurant — Cutler spoke of his winning effort after addressing well-wishers.
“I was a little surprised,” Cutler said of the margin of victory. “I felt [good] going in, but as a candidate you’re always a little nervous to the very end so I was pleased with the outcome.”
Earlier in the evening Cogliano, who joined his supporters at the British Beer Company in Pembroke, had called Cutler to concede the election.
“He was very classy and very kind when he called me and congratulated me,” Cutler said.
“It’s such an odd year, but that’s the way it is,” Cogliano said after the polls closed. “As much as I’m disappointed about losing, it’s been a fun experience until tonight. We’ve met a lot of great people. I think if we had thought of the signs earlier and done the things that your mom says, it would have been a different story.”
Republican Cogliano had entered the day with cautious optimism. Holding a sign for some polling place politicking, Cogliano declined to express early-morning confidence in the day’s outcome.
“Any time you run against an incumbent it’s a challenge,” Cogliano said, noting that even some candidates he knows who are running unchallenged campaigns were feeling a bit nervous in an uncertain election year. That said, Cogliano — a Trump supporter — said, Tuesday the morning that he expected Clinton to win in a presidential race he felt would be called early.
Among issues, Cutler noted some of his top priorities are: bringing in more funding for local schools, cleaning up ponds, fixing roads and attending to the Opioid Crisis. In his two terms as a representative, Cutler has not missed a roll call vote yet, and he said he hopes to keep that streak alive.
During his brief victory speech, Cutler thanked several of his campaign’s key personnel.
“We had great supporters and volunteers out at the polls right until eight o’clock tonight,” he said. “I was out there door knocking. I wasn’t taking anything for granted and never will.”
Cutler spent most of the day campaigning before heading to his election night party at the Cask ‘N Flagon. Had Cutler not been re-elected, he would have left office when his term ended on Jan. 3, 2017, not that he is concerned about it now.
“I didn’t have a plan B,” he said with a laugh. “I just had to let the chips fall where they may.”
In Whitman, where more than 3,200 eligible voters cast early voting ballots, Town Clerk Dawn Varley said her election workers would be feeding those ballots into voting machines to be counted after the polls closed at 8 p.m., and expected it to be “very late” before unofficial results were posted.
Hanson Town Clerk Elizabeth Sloan, meanwhile, said her election workers would be feeding ballots into voting machines all day to count the more than 1,700 early voting ballots in her town.
Several weeks ago, Varley had forecast a 75 percent turnout for the election while Sloan on Tuesday said she expected about 70 percent of Hanson voters to cast ballots. Voting at the Whitman Town Hall polls was steady and busy, Michelle Winnett, voter registrar, said minutes after the polls closed Tuesday night.
“Early voting is amazing,” Winnett said. “We’ve had all-day elections where only 3,000 people show up, so this is fantastic,’ she said.
Whitman saw 77 percent of voters cast ballots this year — with 8,060 of 10,420 registered voters turning out. In Hanson, about 80 percent of the town’s 7,560 voters, more than 6,000 voters cast ballots.