Posted on: Wednesday, February 5, 2020



MELROSE — An aggressive, lightning-quick campaign waged by City Councilor-at-Large Kate Lipper-Garabedian led to an easy victory Tuesday in the Special Democratic Primary Election over her two party opponents.

Lipper-Garabedian, of Mystic Avenue, handily dispatched Wakefield Town Councilor Ann McGonigle Santos and Malden’s Mathew Helman in the race for the Democratic nomination for the vacant 32nd Middlesex District seat in the state House of Representatives. The 32nd Middlesex is Melrose-centric, with all of the city represented. Half of Wakefield and a sliver of Malden make up the rest of the district.

Grove Street’s Brandon Reid, who waged a write-in campaign among district Republicans, appeared to have the 150 signatures needed to secure his party’s nomination and the right to join Lipper-Garabedian in the race to the March 3 Special Election. A total of 247 write-ins were cast on the Republican ballot district-wide. It appeared at press time that at least 152 of those write-in votes were cast for Reid.   

In the unofficial district-wide vote count among Democrats, Lipper-Garabedian garnered 2,580 votes. Santos finished second with 866 votes and Helman third with 342.

 In Wakefield’s three precincts, Santos crushed her opponents with 506 votes to Lipper-Garabedian’s 159 and Helman’s 49.

But in Lipper-Garabedian’s home territory, it was Katie bar the door, as she handily defeated Santos and Helman in every ward and precinct. Santos finished second in every Melrose precinct but two. Helman finished second in Ward 5, Precinct 1 and Ward 7 Precinct 1, the precincts near Malden.


Lipper-Garabdeian also took Ward 5, Precinct 2 in Malden, garnering 80 votes. Helman finished second with 50 and Santos pulled up the rear with 18.

Tuesday night, Lipper-Garabedian thanked her supporters.

“I am immensely appreciative of the tremendous effort of all of the volunteers that helped out on the campaign trail,” she said. “There were endless calls made and just as many doors knocked to reach voters. Together, we worked to ensure that the 32nd Middlesex District is represented by someone who believes passionately about the role government can play in supporting individuals and their families. Thank you to my husband Mark and my two sons Harrison and Oscar for their constant love and encouragement.”

She also thanked the voters.

“Thank you to every single resident of Malden, Melrose, and Wakefield who took the time to vote in this election in hopes for a strong future for our District,” Lipper-Garabedian said. “Tonight’s result means that our seat will be held by someone who listens carefully and works hard and by someone who will get things done. I am humbled and excited by your support, and I will work hard to continue to earn it.”

Wednesday morning, Santos wished Lipper-Garabedian well and thanked her own supporters and voters.

“I first want to congratulate Kate Lipper Garabedian on winning the Democratic primary for State Rep,” Santos said. “She ran a thoughtful and respectful campaign and I am grateful that we were able to discuss issues important to our towns without any rancor. I also want to thank those that supported me by taking time out of their lives during the campaign and for all of the kind messages I received.

“This race will always be numerically difficult for a Wakefield candidate running against a strong Melrose candidate based on how our town is divided into 2 districts,” Santos noted. “Hopefully, in 2022 when redistricting is revisited, we can advocate to have full representation in the State House by virtue of a State Representative that is dedicated to all of Wakefield, as it used to be. Until then, I look forward to working with Kate as a Town Councilor and am encouraged that she will be sensitive to concerns that uniquely affect Wakefield, such as Chapter 70 funding.”

Helman also offered his congratulations to Lipper-Garabedian, while thanking his own supporters and the voters.

“I congratulate Kate Lipper-Garabedian on her victory in the special election’s Democratic primary,” Helman said. “I hope she will use the office to advocate for more transparency and accountability in state government, beginning with a restoration of Speaker term limits, as well as working to take important debates about legislation and the budget out from behind closed doors and back into the public eye on the floor of the House. I humbly thank all of my supporters, volunteers, and donors across the district and the Commonwealth; and, and I thank everyone who turned out to vote to take part in this exercise in democracy.”


On the Republican side, Reid also thanked his supporters.

“First and foremost, I’d like to thank each and every voter who took time out of their day to go out and write me in on an otherwise blank Republican ballot,” Reid said. “This was a big ask, and it means a lot to me that so many people showed up. I truly appreciate it. I’d also like to thank everyone who has offered their support during this campaign process, and the local news publications, including the Wakefield Daily Item and Melrose Weekly News.

“As for the results, I am beyond pleased to announce that I will be the Republican nominee on the ballot on March 3rd!” Reid said. “I also would like to mention, that three votes determined the result of this primary election. Every vote truly counts! The voters wanted a real race for this seat, and I look forward to the challenge.”

“Lastly, I want to congratulate all three Democratic candidates for their hard work and efforts,” Reid said. “A special congrats to Kate, who is a very deserving Democratic nominee.”

Tuesday’s Special Primary did not draw much interest in Wakefield, with only 714 of the town’s eligible 8,193 voters (8.78 percent) showing up to cast ballots. About 15 percent of eligible voters in Melrose participated in yesterday’s election. About 150 (6 percent) of the 2,287 voters in Malden’s Ward 5 Precinct 2 showed up to vote.

This week’s Special Primary Election and the upcoming Special Election were necessary due to the vacancy in the 32nd Middlesex seat caused by the resignation of Paul Brodeur, who was elected Mayor of Melrose last November.