Avon population

Rita Mendes wins majority-minority state representative seat

BROCKTON — Rita Mendes came to Massachusetts from Brazil when she was 12. In January, she will be State Rep. Rita Mendes.

The Brockton Democrat had no challengers on the ballot as she filled the seat vacated by Claire Cronin when President Joe Biden appointed Cronin Ambassador to Ireland. Brockton businessman Fred Fontaine ran an unsuccessful freelance writing campaign after miss an election deadline. Unofficial results showed Mendes got 80% of the vote.

“We kept campaigning. We took nothing for granted,” Mendes told a small but energetic rally of supporters at the Home Cafe on Main Street. “We kept going door to door and making sure they came to vote.”

In other Brockton-area election results, Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz was elected to a sixth term by a nearly two-to-one margin, fending off a challenge from Democrat Rahsaan Hall.

The Associated Press called the race for Cruz late Wednesday morning, with the incumbent having 63% of the vote as of 11:15 a.m. With 91% of the vote at that time, Cruz had 124,432 votes to Hall’s 72,447.

Cruz has served as Plymouth County’s top prosecutor for more than two decades. He was first appointed by Governor Jane Swift in November 2001.

Hall, a civil rights attorney from Brockton, has a varied legal background. He prosecuted crimes as an assistant district attorney in Suffolk County for eight years. And for more than six years, he led the racial justice program at the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts.

“I think we’ve really found out exactly what the people of Plymouth County want,” Cruz said on WATD Radio on Tuesday night. “They want to be safe in their homes, they want to be safe on the streets. I think they’re happy with the job we’ve done here, and we’re going to keep doing that job.”

The veteran prosecutor said his opponent “wants to take out or abolish the police” and said there are major cities elsewhere in the United States that are electing “progressive” district attorneys and seeing increasing numbers of violent crimes.

“And they don’t want that here, and I don’t blame them,” Cruz said of Plymouth County voters.

Mendes Race

11th Plymouth was drawn as a “majority minority” district.

“I am truly honored to be here, to be able to serve the City of Brockton, the city that I love, and to look forward to working with the other Councilors and the Mayor and the residents and everyone so that we can make Brockton even a better place,” Mendes said. “I’m super excited. I’m ready to get to work.”

Mendes said she would complete her term on city council, but would not seek re-election to the city board.

Brockton does not have a large Brazilian population. But Mendes’ victory is a victory for all immigrants in Brockton, Councilman Moises Rodrigues said.

“One of us succeeded,” Rodrigues said. “Rita is going to State House because of the Cape Verdean community.”

When she arrives in Beacon Hill, Mendes said she hopes to join the House Workforce Development and Judiciary Committees.

“I think those two are perfect for Brockton,” said Mendes, who is also an attorney.

Rita Mendes, centre, celebrates at the Home Cafe after winning Plymouth's 11th State Representative seat on Tuesday November 8, 2022.

9th House of Plymouth

As of 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, The Associated Press had still not called a winner as Gerard Cassidy (D-Brockton) held a solid lead over Republican Lawrence Novak, a Brocktonian returning to public life after six years in federal prison on a conviction for money laundering. With 95% of the constituencies declaring, Cassidy held a lead with 60.4% of the vote.

2nd Senate of Plymouth and Norfolk

The Associated Press hadn’t called the race as of 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, but incumbent Mike Brady (D-Brockton) declared victory over first-time candidate Jim Gordon, a Hanson Republican, with a landslide performance in Brockton giving him an insurmountable lead. . In Brockton, Brady racked up 14,988 votes to Gordon’s 4,460, according to unofficial results.

“I look forward to continuing to work for my constituents. It was a great win and I’m grateful for all the support I received,” Brady said. “I also want to give credit to my opponent. Anyone who throws their hat in the ring, my two opponents, in the primary and in the final, it’s not always easy.”

Brady had 63.4% of the vote late Wednesday morning, with 88% reporting from the constituencies.

The recent legislative redistricting removed Hanover and Plympton from this district and added Avon and parts of Randolph. It is also known as the 34th arrondissement.

Results at a glance

Here are the winners and losers of the Senate and State House races in The Enterprise’s coverage area.

State Senate

  • 3rd Bristol & Plymouth: Incumbent Marc Pacheco (D-Taunton) held a lead over Republican Maria Collins, also of Taunton, with 54.1% of the vote, with around 89% of the vote counted, at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.
  • Norfolk, Plymouth and Bristol: Voters returned Walter Timilty (D-Milton) to power against Brian R. Muello, a Republican from Braintree, with Timilty securing 65.5% of the vote late Wednesday morning.

State Chamber

  • 3rd Bristol: Carol Doherty (D-Taunton) defended his seat Taunton Councilman Christopher Coute, a Republican.
  • 6th Norfolk: William C. Galvin (D-Canton) won. He was unopposed.
  • 8th Norfolk: The Associated Press had not called this run as of 11:30 a.m. Wednesday. Ted Philips (D-Sharon), held a strong lead over Howard Terban, a Republican from Stoughton, with 71.6% of the vote.
  • 7th Plymouth: The Associated Press had not announced the race at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday between Alyson Sullivan (R-Abington) and Brandon Griffin of the Workers’ Party. She had no Democratic opponent. Sullivan held a strong lead with 74.3% of the vote.
  • 8th Plymouth: Angelo D’Emilia (R-Bridgewater) fended off a challenge from Eric Haikola, a Raynham Democrat, according to the Associated Press.
  • 9th Plymouth: Gerard Cassidy (D-Brockton) led Brockton Republican Lawrence Novak at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.
  • 10th Plymouth: Michelle DuBois (D-Brockton) won her fifth term. The former Brockton councilman was unopposed.
  • 11th Plymouth: Rita Mendes, a Brockton Democrat, had no challengers on the ballot for the new vacant, majority-minority, all-Brockton district. Brockton businessman Fred Fontaine’s writing campaign failed.

The State House News Service contributed to this report.

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