In an unusual and historic state primary Tuesday, Martha’s Vineyard voters mirrored the state, strongly backing incumbent Democratic incumbent Sen. Edward Markey and Republican attorney Kevin O’Connor over their challengers, with a deluge of mail-in ballots and early voting raising voter turnout despite a slow day at the polls.
Statewide, Rep. Joe Kennedy 3rd conceded a close race to Senator Markey shortly after 10 p.m. according to the Boston Globe, after falling behind by 10 points in the polls. On the Republican side, the Associated Press declared Mr. O’Connor the victor over Shiva Ayyadurai by 10 p.m., after he grabbed 60 per cent of the vote with about 30 per cent of the state reporting results.
According to unofficial results Tuesday evening, all three down-Island towns and West Tisbury favored Senator Markey over Representative Kennedy.
Mr. Markey won more than 60 per cent of the vote in all four towns that had results available, hovering between 61 and 63 per cent of the vote in the down-Island towns.
In West Tisbury, Mr. Markey amassed an even larger victory, defeating Mr. Kennedy with nearly 72 per cent of the vote.
Results from Chilmark and Aquinnah were not in yet by just after 10:30. Both towns count their ballots by hand.
The closely-watched race for the Democratic senate nomination had taken on national significance in recent weeks, as competing factions in the party have endorsed each candidate. Statewide, Mr. Kennedy fared well in many blue-collar precincts such as New Bedford, Fall River and Springfield, but was edged out solidly by Mr. Markey in other precincts, including in Greater Boston and in the Cape and Islands.
On the Republican side, Mr. O’Connor, an attorney mounting his first senatorial campaign, defeated Mr. Ayyadurai, a scientist, in Edgartown, Oak Bluffs and West Tisbury. Mr. Ayyadurai, who has previously run as an independent for senate, eked out a victory in Tisbury, with 45 votes to Mr. O’Connor’s 44.
Overall, Mr. O’Connor garnered over 60 per cent of the vote on the Island, with Chilmark and Aquinnah still waiting on results Tuesday night.
In the Dukes County Commission race, all seven current commissioners were re-elected. An eighth candidate, Hunter Moorman, withdrew his candidacy but remained on the ballot.
Turnout Islandwide was strong on a summery day that ushered in September, although many ballots were cast by mail or in early voting, according to town clerks who reported a slow trickle of voters throughout the day. Approximately 35 per cent of registered voters Islandwide cast votes in the respective primaries.
In the 2016 state primary election, which included a few close-fought local races, turnout was approximately 30 per cent.
Town-by-town turnout is as follows:
In Aquinnah, 192 of the town’s 400 voters cast ballots, for a 48 per cent turnout.
In Edgartown, 1167 of the town’s 3,925 voters cast ballots, for a 30 per cent turnout.
In Oak Bluffs, 1422 of the town’s 3,978 voters cast ballots, for a 36 per cent turnout.
In Tisbury, 1217 of the town’s 3,617 voters cast ballots, for a 34 per cent turnout.
In West Tisbury, of the town’s 2612 voters cast ballots, for a 43 per cent turnout.
The vote totals for the county commission are as follows: Leon Brathwaite, 2,618 votes; John Cahill 2,653; Keith Chatinover, 2,848; Tristan Israel, 2,387; Christine Todd, 2,912; Don Leopold, 2,096; Richard Wharton, 2,157 votes. Mr. Moorman received 1,867 votes.
All other races were uncontested.
Complete results will be updated as they become available.
Louisa Hufstader, Maia Coleman and Aaron Wilson contributed reporting.