Update: According to reports from MassLive.com, Paul Mark has won the 2nd Berkshire District Democratic primary with 2,762 votes (44 percent) and 21 of 23 precincts reporting. Coming in second was Thomas Szczepaniak with 2,310 votes (37 percent) and Noreen Suriner with 1,229 votes (37 percent).
The race to chose a new representative from the 2nd Berkshire District appears to be going down to the wire, with Democrats Tom Szczepaniak of Dalton and Paul Mark of Hancock running neck and neck.
An update from PCTV at 11 p.m. had Mark in the lead by 6 percent of the vote.
The campaigns were still awaiting official results from the sprawling district, which includes parts of 22 towns spread across three counties.
On the Republican side, Michael Case of Washington appears to be the choice to represent his party in the Nov. 2 general election, which will also include independent Stefan Racz of Buckland, who unsuccessfully ran against Guyer in 2006.
On the Democratic side, Szczepaniak, a Dalton selectman since 2001 and owner of Variety Trucking and Demolition in Pittsfield, said he was confident he would pull through against two other Democrats. In his hometown, he won 788 votes to 413 for Paul Mark of Hancock, and 228 for Noreen Suriner of Middlefield.
At about 10:30 p.m., he said he was confident of a strong performance in Berkshire County, but unsure about other towns that still hadn't reported.
"It's been a long, vigorous campaign," he said from Shamrock Restaurant and Pub in Dalton, where he was awaiting the results with supporters. "Meeting the people has been a blessing. It's a new world for me and I'm excited about it."
For the Republicans, Michael Case, a veteran and longtime Pittsfield police officer, said he had put up a clear lead against Rosanne Frieri of Pittsfield.
"I'm glued to the TV," he said from Jacob's Restaurant in Dalton, where he was gathering with supporters. "I've got a feeling I'm going to win."
The district is geographically the largest in the state and includes the Berkshire towns of Cheshire, Dalton, Hancock, Hinsdale, Lanesborough, New Ashford, Peru, Richmond, Becket, Washington, Windsor, and a part of Pittsfield. It also includes the Franklin County towns of Colrain, Bernardston, Ashfield, Buckland, Leyden, Northfield, and Shelburne, and the Hampshire County towns of Cummington, Middlefield, and Plainfield.
The winner of the race will replace Denis Guyer of Dalton, who was first elected to the seat in 2004, winning that election with 70 percent of the vote. He replaced Republican Shaun Kelly of Dalton, who had represented the district since 1990.
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Mike Case for Massachusetts. We are all successful when a good candidate wins. Mike is a proven leader, mature in his thoughts and reality. He has worked hard to achieve what he has. We will be lucky to have him serve us.
i voted for paul because i got the feeling that tom touches little girls. and since he had this recirds sealed and wont discuss them, combined with what i hear around town, i'm pretty sure tom molests children.
Both of these men have a great story to tell about how they got to this point in their lives. It is also refreshing that both of these men are from smaller towns in the district. This should be an interesting race.
We need a new voice on Beacon Hill who will not be just another rubber stamp. Mike Case, who is a real war hero and dedicated patriot, will not kow-tow to the legistlative leaders who are spending us into bankruptcy blowing millions of dollars each year on special interests and cronies.
Congratulations Mike Case! I like Mike, and so will the 2nd District when he is their rep. Mike Case is the kind of guy Massachusetts needs if we are ever going to restore common sense government for the people who do the work and pay the taxes. Go Mike!
Mike Case will be the peoples representative. He has had a lifetime of service to his community and his country. He will continue to serve the citizens of the Second Berkshire district and address the unique needs and concerns of his constituents. I overwhelmingly support Mike Case as our next Representative.
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