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Cole: 'I'm Overwhelmed' [VIDEO]

The Republican newcomer surprised her detractors in the race to become Peabody's next state representative.

Peabody Republican Leah Cole shocked the Massachusetts political world Tuesday night when she won election to the 12th Essex District representative seat.

This was the first run for public office by Cole, a 24-year-old nurse.

Cole, who is entirely new to politics, garnered 1,878 votes to Democrat Beverley Griffin Dunne's 1,805. Unenrolled candidate Dave Gravel took 1,655 votes. According to the City Clerk's office, total voter turnout was 20 percent.

"I'm overwhelmed, I'm so excited," Cole said after the results came in, her face beaming as her crowd of supporters inside Champions Pub cheered. "I'm so grateful for the voters of Peabody, for believing in what I was saying, my message."

Cole's campaign zeroed in on opposing Gov. Deval Patrick's proposed tax increases for the new state budget. Cole argues that working class families are paying too much as it is and can't afford another tax increase and that wasteful spending is the real problem on Beacon Hill.

Cole defeated fellow Republican Greg Bunn in the March 5 primary and raked in major campaign contributions and endorsements from Republicans and conservative advocacy groups across the state.

The 12th Essex District seat in the Mass. House of Representatives was left vacant with the death of Joyce Spiliotis in November. The district represents Ward 1 through 4 and Precinct 1 and 3 in Ward 5.

Mark Titelbaum April 03, 2013 at 03:01 AM
This was not a shocker....but an earnest win for Leah Cole. Good luck on Beacon Hill.
Daniel Fishman April 03, 2013 at 03:06 AM
Liberty is rising on the North Shore!
Madalena Manza April 03, 2013 at 03:34 AM
Congratulations, Leah! So proud to have you representing us!
JT April 03, 2013 at 04:30 AM
Congratulations Leah! This is a win for both you and the people of the North Shore. We're proud to have you as our Representative on Beacon Hill!
Matt Smith April 03, 2013 at 05:20 AM
This was no "win". All that happened was that the Democratic vote was split. She didn'tbwin anything...she just got lucky
JT April 03, 2013 at 05:55 AM
A win is a win Matt. It was a "win" when Patrick got in and Cahill (the independent?) split the Republican vote. It's time to realize that the people in MA have been taxed nearly to oblivion while accountability and transparency regarding where their tax money goes is at an all-time low. Thousands of families across the state are struggling to make ends meet while many are still out of work, and those with jobs have seen their payroll taxes go up and their take-home pay go down. Gas hovers between $3.50 to $3.99/gal. (forget diesal), and some of the deductions that folks have counted on such as T-pass costs, mortgage payments, child-care, and college scholarships are on the chopping block at the same time Beacon Hill is proposing these tax hikes. MA is losing residents & businesses to states with lower tax rates--a reasonable response to the unreasonable agenda this state wants to impose upon its residents. Leah has heard the voices of people and families in need of relief and is willing to work to help them. Let's hope she is able to make some difference in the heavily one-sided decision making that's been taking place at the state house.
Thom Wallace April 03, 2013 at 09:31 AM
If she had any idea about tax policy she would see that Deval's tax plan actually HELPS middle class people... But 24 years of life experience means she has all the answers. Good job Peabody you elected an ideological 24 year old to represent you....Uneducated voters the most dangerous thing a democracy can have, and Peabody you just illustrated that beautifully...
NoMoreTaxes April 03, 2013 at 11:37 AM
please explain to us how adding 2 Billion in mass tax can help the middle class ?
The Rombach Report April 03, 2013 at 01:00 PM
Congratulations Leah! A victory margin of 73 votes underscores the imperative to count all the votes.
Elaine Donoghue April 03, 2013 at 01:16 PM
This is good news 4 the No. Shore. What she lacks in age, Ms. Cole makes it up for with common sense (a virtue lacking in gov't). Best wishes for a successful term (or 2...)!
N. Kovar April 03, 2013 at 01:53 PM
'But 24 years of life experience means she has all the answers. Good job Peabody you elected an ideological 24 year old to represent you....Uneducated voters the most dangerous thing a democracy can have, and Peabody you just illustrated that beautifully' And all of those old folks in positions of power have done a wonderful job!(sarcasm) A mature, intelligent, well educated on the principles of liberty (what America IS) 24 yr. old WHO IS WILLING to step up to the plate (were you?) will do wonders for the district....as long as a bunch of old school bullies can get over themselves and get out of her way. I'd say she won because the educated voters new how important it was to make it to the polls to support her. Congratulations Leah!
Dan April 03, 2013 at 03:02 PM
What a great story for what looks to be a hard working firecracker. Leah said she believes in "personal and fiscal responsibility?". I can see why Democrats like to dismiss her win, i mean, who wins on that slogan now-a-days? All I know, just from watching the little video clip, she will be the most mature person up on Beacon Hill.
Adjacent to Royalty April 03, 2013 at 05:26 PM
Don't argue with Gravel cronie's, they are just bitter and shocked that the "most qualified" candidate ddn't win. I assure you if you were fortunate enough to have lived next to the King and Queen of Peabodyshire it wouldn't suprise you at all. Dunne's friends and relatives aren't all over the patch whining, but alas to the royal she too was no doubt unqualified.
Bill April 03, 2013 at 06:27 PM
Like when Cahill ran and helped Patrick get in - like that? Or when the straw man entered late and helped Tierney win? Is that what you mean.
Thom Wallace April 03, 2013 at 09:00 PM
"No More Taxes" read up on Tax policy and you'll have your answer. Or you can just understand that i've already done all that and i'll reiterate Ms. Cole, however well intentioned she might be, is DEAD wrong about his tax plan hurting middle income people. If you want i can suggest some books for you to read. If you like. It's your choice.
Nick Fortune April 04, 2013 at 01:23 AM
Matt.. it works for me. (;-) Oh, and by the way Obama "just got lucky"
mom April 04, 2013 at 01:50 AM
Thom, are you insane how is more taxes going to help me? I supported the Gov but the taxes in mass are out of control.In a bad economy you can neither tax your way out of it or print you way out of it. You need to cut spending and that is not what this tax pan does!
Thom Wallace April 05, 2013 at 09:30 AM
Ann, no I am not insane, quite rational actually. Like i stated earlier the Gov's Tax plan is actually quite good. The majority of the monies he is proposing to spend is already coming from taxes, it's just not being spent here in MA. With his plan it will now be spent here, paying for our number 1 ranked school system, and continuing our infrastructure upgrades. Remember we have no natural resources to run our economy, we do it with brainpower and that costs money. With Fed money drying up we need to keep our competitive advantage going. But hey i could be wrong maybe cutting is what is needed, it's seems to be working in other states and countries, right? Heck all companies when looking to invest start by looking at a city,town,state debt line, right?? That is all they care about,Right? You tell me.....

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