Tsongas Fends off Golnik Challenge
Incumbent carries Tewksbury by less than 200 votes.
Congresswoman Niki Tsongas says that from the beginning of the campaign, she ran on her record.
Apparently that was enough for the voters of the 5th Congressional District, who sent Tsongas back to Washington by a comfortable margin Tuesday.
With 96 percent of the precincts reporting, Tsongas had 55 percent of the vote. Republican Jon Golnik had 42 percent of the vote. Independent candidates Dale Brown and Bob Clark combined for three percent.
In Tewksbury, Tsongas won by just 166 votes (5599-5433).
Golnik had hoped to ride the wave of discontent among American voters that swept Republicans to victories across the country and control of the House of Representatives. However, like much of the rest of Massachusetts, the 5th District stayed firmly under the control of the Democratic Party.
In her victory speech, Tsongas thanked virtually member of her campaign staff, stressing that it was a team effort that led to the victory and a team effort that would be required moving forward.
"We did it!" she gushed. "And I say 'we' because it would not have happened without the support of all of you and the independent-minded people who have made their voices heard."
Tsongas acknowledged the Republican victories across the country and admitted that "we have our work cut out for us over the next two years" as the minority party in the House. However, she said later she feels confident in her ability to work closely with the new majority leadership in a spirit of bipartisanship.
"With any of the bills I've filed, we've always sought support from across the aisle," said Tsongas. "I did it then, even though we were in the majority and I'll do it now."
Golnik, who survived a hard-fought, multi-candidate primary to even get to the general election, said he was disappointed by the loss but was proud of the campaign he waged, as well as his staff.
"I don't think that there's anything that we could've done differently," he said, during an interview with WCAP in Lowell. He admitted that his financial support was not at a level to match Tsongas and that the funding disparity made the task more difficult.
Tsongas said her top priority when she returns to Washington will be the economy. More specifically, jobs growth. She said the region has several small growth companies.
Golnik has not yet discussed his future in politics. All he would say Tuesday was that he wanted to spend more time with his children, attend their activities and coach their sports teams.