Monday, November 8, 2010
Canton bucks statewide trends in a few key races

Canton voters showed a surprisingly conservative bent in Tuesday’s statewide election, preferring GOP candidates Charlie Baker and Mary Connaughton by fairly wide margins while also taking the conservative position on two of the three state ballot questions.
Baker, who lost to Democratic incumbent Deval Patrick in the governor’s race, garnered considerable support from south shore communities, including 50 percent of the vote in Canton compared to Patrick’s 41 percent. Connaughton, who lost to Suzanne Bump in a tight race for auditor, fared even better in Canton, finishing with an estimated 54 percent of the vote.
When it came to the state Senate race, however, voters in all but the fourth precinct preferred Democratic incumbent Brian Joyce over Canton Selectman Bob Burr (R), albeit by a much slimmer margin than the rest of the Norfolk, Bristol and Plymouth District. Joyce ended up winning with well over 60 percent of the vote; however, Burr had a strong showing in his hometown, where he received 4,363 votes, or roughly 46 percent of the total vote.
Neither Burr nor Joyce could be reached for comment Tuesday night.
In all other statewide races, Canton voters went for the Democratic candidate, choosing Steve Grossman for treasurer over Karyn Polito (52 to 48 percent); incumbent Martha Coakley for attorney general over Jim McKenna (59 to 41 percent); and incumbent William C. Galvin for secretary of state over Bill Campbell (68 to 30 percent).
In addition, Canton voters agreed with the rest of the second district and opted for Democratic incumbent Kelly Timilty over Republican challenger Steven Glovsky in the governor’s council race by a margin of 56 percent to 40 percent, with 4 percent going to unenrolled candidate Richard Mitchell.
Canton also voted overwhelmingly in favor of Democratic incumbent Stephen Lynch for U.S. Representative in the 9th Congressional District over Republican Vernon Harrison and Independent Phil Dunkelbarger. Lynch, who was a heavy favorite after outlasting popular challenger Mac D’Alessandro in the September primary, easily captured his fifth term in the House with well over 60 percent of the vote.
In the Norfolk County races, Canton results were similar to the remainder of the county, with Democratic incumbent Sheriff Michael G. Bellotti cruising to a victory over Bill Farretta (R) and former state Senator Michael Morrissey (D) defeating John Coffey (I) to become district attorney.
As for the ballot questions, Canton went the way of the state on Questions 1 and 3, supporting a repeal of the state sales tax on alcohol (56 to 44 percent) while opposing a drastic rollback of the sales tax (53 to 47 percent). Unlike the majority of Massachusetts voters, however, Canton voters joined numerous other south shore communities in voting yes on Question 2 – a proposal to repeal the state’s affordable housing law – and it wasn’t all that close (56 to 44 percent).
Interestingly, while Canton’s voting patterns were comparable to many nearby suburban towns, they seemed to stand out when compared to neighboring communities such as Milton, Randolph, and Sharon. All three, for instance, voted no on Question 2, and all three favored Governor Patrick over Baker by a wide margin.
Overall, it was a busy day at each of the four voting locations in Canton, and the total turnout topped 65 percent, which is high for a midterm election.
Veteran poll worker William Quinn, who manned precinct 6 at the Rodman Center on Washington Street, reported minimal problems throughout the day and described the voter turnout as “steady” with very busy stretches early in the morning and in the late afternoon and evening. He said there were considerably more voters as of 3 p.m. than there were in the previous gubernatorial election in 2006, but fewer than in the 2008 presidential election, as one would expect.