Salem Democrat Joan Lovely earned a seat in the state Senate Tuesday in a landslide victory over Beverly Republican Richard Jolitz.
With all the official results in, Lovely garnered 71 percent of the vote to Jolitz' 29 percent.
Lovely, her family and a roomful of supporters gathered at the Old Town Hall in Salem to celebrate Tuesday night. Lovely arrived just after 8 p.m. and finally took the podium to give her victory speech shortly before 9:30 p.m.
"What an amazing year this has been. We started back in January...we started knocking on doors and we've been knocking on doors ever since across this district and the response has just been phenomenal," Lovely said.
"I just feel so greatful and so honored to stand here tonight before all of you," she said. "...and thank you to Senator Berry. For 30 years he has represented this district with just grace and dignity and boy has he gotten a lot done. I want to be able to continue his legacy and all his hard work... I can't wait to get started."
Lovely also thanked everyone who volunteered on her campaign along with her family and other supporters. She said she's looking forward to working with her new colleagues on Beacon Hill as well as local officials throughout the district.
Lovely will now represent the 2nd Essex District, filling the shoes of longtime Peabody Senator Berry, who is retiring after 30 years in the Senate.
The district is comprised of Peabody, Salem, Beverly, Danvers and Topsfield.
Here's how the numbers broke down across the district on Tuesday:
Peabody Salem Beverly Danvers Topsfield TOTAL Joan Lovely 17,319 15,541 12,616 8,490 1,839 55,805 71% Richard Jolitz 7,128 2,997 6,402 4,819 1,748 23,094 29%