Lowell City Councilor Edward Kennedy, left, and supporters look over his election numbers at Cappy’s Copper Kettle in Lowell. The Democrat defeated
Lowell City Councilor Edward Kennedy, left, and supporters look over his election numbers at Cappy's Copper Kettle in Lowell. The Democrat defeated Republican John MacDonald for the 1st Middlesex state Senate seat. With Kennedy, from left, are City Councilor Vesna Nuon, Phil Geoffroy of Chelmsford, Geoffrey Feldman of Lowell, and Meaghan Callahan of Boston. SUN/Julia Malakie

LOWELL -- Edward Kennedy is heading from the City Council Chambers to the Senate Chamber.

For about six months, he'll actually be casting votes in both buildings.

Kennedy, a Democrat, won the race for the 1st Middlesex Senate District on Tuesday -- a vacant seat that was formerly held by City Manager Eileen Donoghue. The district encompasses Lowell, Tyngsboro, Westford, Groton, Pepperell and Dunstable

He defeated Republican John MacDonald, of Lowell, by a wide margin. Kennedy's camp estimated a 22,788 to 12,593 lead -- 64.4 percent to 35.6 percent -- at 10 p.m. Kennedy's camp was waiting on Tyngsboro, Groton and Dunstable, but he declared victory owning such a significant lead.

"It's a good night," said Kennedy, a former Lowell mayor.

Lowell City Councilor Edward Kennedy and his wife, Susan,wait for election results in his state Senate race at Cappy’s Copper Kettle with his friend
Lowell City Councilor Edward Kennedy and his wife, Susan,wait for election results in his state Senate race at Cappy's Copper Kettle with his friend Geoffrey Feldman of Lowell, right, who worked on the campaign. SUN/Julia Malakie

"I'm looking forward to heading to the Statehouse in January, and doing the best job that I can do," he added.

Kennedy has vowed that he will stay on the City Council until the loan order vote for the high school project, a vote that's expected in May or June. He will serve in both roles during that time.

Throughout the campaign, Kennedy said the top issues that residents are concerned about are education, health care and the environment.

After Kennedy declared victory around 9:45 p.m. at Cappy's Copper Kettle on Central Street in downtown Lowell, Mayor Bill Samaras was already half-jokingly asking the senator-elect about the Rourke Bridge project.

MacDonald did not immediately concede.

"We'll see about that.


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We'll see about that," MacDonald told a Sun reporter after Kennedy declared victory. "A lot of results still need to come in."

But about 15 minutes later, around 10 p.m., MacDonald conceded, admitting that the numbers were not looking good.

MacDonald said he was proud of his campaign, and obviously wished for a better result.

"We hold our heads high, and wish Ed the best," MacDonald said.

Nadine Morin, voting at Tyngsboro Middle School Tuesday evening, said she voted for Kennedy.

Republican candidate for state Senate John McDonald and campaign workers, from left, Mansour Chaya of Methuen, David Morton of Lowell and Curtis Boucher of
Republican candidate for state Senate John McDonald and campaign workers, from left, Mansour Chaya of Methuen, David Morton of Lowell and Curtis Boucher of Lowell, all UML College Republicans, listen to WCAP election coverage at the Bunting Club in Lowell. SUN/Julia Malakie

"He'd be better for the region," said Morin, who declined to give her age.

Karen Swan-Son, 63, said she has always voted for Democrats -- even though this ballot she did select candidates from both parties.

She said she selected Kennedy for the State Senate race.

"We need some change," she said. "I hope we can see better things for our state and country."

Other voters lacked interest in the race, including Leslie Sanzo who only voted for the ballot questions.

"I didn't look into the candidates," she said. "I didn't have time to look into it."

Another Tyngsboro voter leaving the middle school said he voted "Republicans right down the line, baby."

"Vote out the Democrats," the unnamed man said, quickly walking away.

Follow Rick Sobey on Twitter @rsobeyLSun.