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Durant carries area

Few turn out for Baystate primary

Southbridge voters, pictured here at the Community Center polling place, helped Spencer Republican Peter Durant defeat Southbridge Republican Michael Jaynes for a chance at the sixth Worcester District State Representative seat. Ryan Grannan-Doll. (click for larger version)
September 15, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — Let the general election campaign for the sixth Worcester district state representative seat begin.

Republican Peter Durant, a Spencer selectman, bested Southbridge Republican Michael Jaynes in the Tuesday, Sept. 14 primary election. He won by a 2-1 margin. Durant will face incumbent state representative Geraldo Alicea, D-Charlton, in the Tuesday, Nov. 2 general election. The district covers Southbridge, Charlton, East Brookfield and a precinct each in Spencer and Oxford.

Durant took a humble tone Tuesday night after learning he had defeated Jaynes. "We were cautiously optimistic. I think any race is always a challenge. You are never 100-percent sure," said Durant. "I want to thank my volunteers. They did a fantastic job."

Jaynes said he was surprised, after reviewing the results, especially in Charlton where Durant beat Jaynes 4-1 margin.

"I don't know where the numbers went wrong there. Charlton was a big surprise to me. I expected to win," he said.

Despite the disappointment, Jaynes, who had advocated for more jobs in Southbridge, said he wishes Durant best of luck against Alicea.

"Peter was not really an opponent. He was just a different selection. It was very civil between the two of us. I hope Peter goes all the way," Jaynes said.

Durant, after learning of his victory, said voters recognized he was more qualified than Jaynes.

"I'm a candidate with experience," Durant said. "I think that might have made the difference."

Told of the results, Alicea fired the first shot in his race against Durant.

"Peter let others do the work for him," said the sophomore legislator.

With less than two months before the election, Durant and Alicea plan to work tirelessly for voter support. Durant started that process after his win Tuesday night by challenging Alicea to five debates, one in each of the district's towns. He also plans to hold five town-hall style meetings, with the first scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 22 at the Southbridge Town Hall. He doesn't plan to waver on his campaign strategy, but acknowledged beating an incumbent will be difficult.

See Thursday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of cummunity news.

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