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Staff Writer

When Amanda Pena meets a stranger, she first asks the person what he or she is most concerned about.

That’s because building conversations around issues that matter to voters is the key to getting their support, says the Acton-Boxboro Regional High School senior. And state Rep. Jamie Eldridge, D-Acton, says having hundreds of committed volunteers like Pena going door to door helped him secure the Worcester & Middlesex District state Senate seat.

“What a difference from last year,” Eldridge said Tuesday night, standing in front of more than 300 supporters beaming with joy at seeing him score a big victory after his unsuccessful bid for the 5th Congressional District seat last year.

Eldridge, a state representative of nearly five years, glided to victory against his Republican opponent, Steven Levy, who serves as a Marlboro city councilor, in Tuesday’s election.

Eldridge won in most of the 14 communities in the district, and credited his success to his grassroots campaign strategy. He noted he had a field director devoted to organizing volunteers, and that made a difference in the state race compared to the congressional race in which he says fund-raising mattered more.

During his victory speech at Holiday Inn at Boxboro Woods, Eldridge vowed to help create more high-tech jobs in the area and invest in alternative energy.

“As your next senator, I’ll make sure your community will continue to get local aid,” Eldridge said. “Tonight is really about beginning of a new chapter.”

Eldridge said the election results reflected voters’ priorities, and the economy is on top of the list.

Contact Hiroko Sato at

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