Mermell, Auchincloss neck-and-neck in 4th

2 candidates who withdrew get more than 5,600 votes

THE RACE for the 4th Congressional District seat early Wednesday morning was virtually a dead heat between Jesse Mermell and Jake Auchincloss, with both candidates issuing statements indicating that final tallies will not be available until later Wednesday.

With 80 percent of precincts reporting, just 105 votes separated Mermell and Auchincloss. Becky Grossman, Natalia Linos, Ihssane Leckey, and Alan Khazei were the next four candidates with the most votes.

The names of Chris Zannetos and David Cavell, who withdrew from the race and endorsed Mermell, both remained on the ballot. The two candidates together received more than 5,600 votes with 80 percent of precincts reporting.

Mermell issued a statement just before 1 a.m. saying the race was too close to call. “The most important thing to do now is to count all the votes,” she said. “We have preliminary figures from city and town clerks but we don’t know for sure whether those are all the votes. We have been told that clerks in several communities are still counting and reviewing mail-in votes, which continued to arrive in drop boxes up until the polls closed tonight. It’s too soon for anyone to declare victory or stop counting. This is the first time Massachusetts has voted by mail and we believe there are thousands of votes still not counted. We have a responsibility to see the process through and give clerks the time to do their jobs and count the votes. With the November election looming and a president bent on twisting results, it’s important that we here set the standard and get the right result.”

Auchincloss issued a statement a bit later thanking his fellow candidates and expressing a desire to “partner with them for years to come.”

Auchincloss also indicated he was confident of victory. “While the results of our primary are being calculated, I encourage all voters and candidates to allow the process to comprehensively and lawfully unfold,” he said. “While we always expected a competitive race, we are confident that our full-district campaign will be victorious when the results are announced.”