By the narrowest of margins, Andrew Shepherd would appear to be the next state representative for the 1st Middlesex District.
Shepherd, a Republican, is set to take the seat vacated by former state Rep. Sheila Harrington, also a Republican, who stepped down from the position last February to serve as clerk magistrate of Gardner District Court. He faced Democrat Margaret Scarsdale and Independent Catherine Lundeen in Tuesday’s general election.
At press time, according to preliminary results, Shepherd had led with 9,305 votes to Scarsdale’s 9,271 votes and Lundeen’s 1,057 votes.
While he refused to declare victory Wednesday morning, Shepherd called it a “hard-fought race” and was appreciative of those that voted for and supported him throughout his campaign.
“It was a hard-fought race by everyone involved,” Shepherd said. “We are very proud of that, as well as all of the support we’ve received — we appreciate each and every volunteer that has been here for us and the campaign over the past 11 months.”
“Now we’re just looking forward to each town certifying their results and, hopefully, going down to Beacon Hill to represent the (1st Middlesex) district,” he said.
Shepherd’s victory came after a similarly hard-fought primary election back in September, where he faced Lynne Archambault for the Republican nomination. Shepherd bested Archambault by a count of 2,255 to 2,174.
Prior to election night, Shepherd touted the “duality” of his experience, both in “real life” and on Beacon Hill, and stressed that it better prepared him for the vacancy. A business owner — Shepherd is the owner of the Bayberry Hill Water Company — Shepherd also interned in Harrington’s office and, later, served in the state’s Office of Access and Opportunity during his time as a student at UMass Amherst.
Shepherd also said the race had “humbled” him and, if elected, he would do his best to “put more money in families’ pockets” and focus on what he called “kitchen table economics.”
Late Wednesday evening, Scarsdale remained positive as she commented on Tuesday’s election.
“As the polls have now closed this election day and while we await final results, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the outpouring of support our campaign has received,” Scarsdale said. “Together our team knocked on over 5,000 doors, made over 3,000 phone calls, sent thousands of handwritten postcards and hosted dozens of meet and greets and visibilities across the district.”
“Without our amazing volunteer team, none of this would have been possible. Regardless of the final outcome, we have so much to celebrate and be proud of and our team truly left it all out in the field,” she said.
Lundeen could not be reached for comment.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to include a comment from Margaret Scarsdale.