Trahan wins recount by 145 votes

Koh concedes, urges Democratic unity behind his rival


THIRTEEN DAYS after an election that left her with a small advantage over Dan Koh, Lori Trahan of Westford emerged as the decisive winner Monday in the Third Congressional District Democratic primary, with Koh conceding as recount totals failed to alter the initial outcome.

“My deep roots in the district will be a constant reminder of who I am doing this job for,” Trahan said in press conference after the conclusion of the recount Monday afternoon, according to transcript from her campaign. “It’s time for a new breed of leaders who will stand up for working class families, seniors, and women, and root out the corruptive influence of corporate money and special interests.”

Koh, according to the Trahan campaign, called her to offer his full support as she prepares to move forward into the general election as the Democratic nominee. Trahan, Republican nominee Rick Green, and unenrolled candidate Michael Mullin are competing to succeed Rep. Niki Tsongas.

Democrats are planning a “unity event” for Tuesday morning at UMass-Lowell Inn and Conference Center with Trahan, Koh, Tsongas, Democratic Party Chairman Gus Bickford and others.

Lori Trahan

“Out of 89,000 votes, it looks like we fell short by about 0.1%,” Koh wrote in an email to supporters. “There’s no use in getting upset about the close margin – we can’t afford to. It’s time for us to unite behind Lori Trahan to be sure this seat stays Democratic. Plus, there’s so much to be thankful for.”

Trahan won with 18,580 votes to Koh’s 18,435 votes after a hand recount of 88,823 ballots requested by Koh increased her lead from 122 on primary night to 145.

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Matt Murphy

State House News Service
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“I’m delighted that so many blanks became votes because they always were votes,” Secretary of State William Galvin said at a press conference earlier in the day, referring to the fact that hand recounters can discern voter intent even when the optical scan machines miss the vote.

To pursue the race, Koh left his job as chief of staff to Boston Mayor Martin Walsh. In his email to supporters he was cryptic about his future. “I will never give up fighting for the country we believe in. Stay tuned. This is only the beginning,” he wrote.