Last night, Republican Keiko Orral defeated Democrat Roger Brunelle, Jr. in a special election to fill the vacant seat in the Massachusetts State House for the 12th Bristol District. Orral garnered more than 54% of the vote. The seat was vacated last June by Democrat Stephen Canessa who accepted a job in the private sector.
The 12th Bristol District is situated in southeastern Massachusetts and encompasses communities such as Taunton, New Bedford and Lakeville (where Orral resides.) For her part, Orral views herself as “a taxpayer advocate” and pledges not to accept a pension or travel stipend from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. That certainly resonated with this union member from Middleboro and it appears he wasn’t alone.
Now make no mistake, Democrats have 126 out of 160 seats in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. But Republicans doubled their seat total last November and have gained strength in southeastern Massachusetts. This could bode well for Scott Brown in 2012.