SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

November 3, 2010

McGee fends off Dent's challenge

By Alan Burke
Staff Writer

LYNN — Any worry ended early for veteran state Sen. Thomas McGee, D-Lynn, last night. Despite a vigorous challenge from youthful U.S. Marine reservist and Iraq War veteran Christopher Dent, McGee outpolled his opponent by 3 to 1 in Lynn.

When those numbers came in, Dent called to concede. There was more, including a nearly 2 to 1 victory in Dent's hometown of Nahant. Overall, McGee took roughly 60 percent of the vote.

"It was just a terrific win," McGee said. "I'm thankful to the people who came out and voted for me."

McGee credited his ties to the communities he represents as being the essential element in his victory. McGee's 3rd Essex seat represents Marblehead, Swampscott, Lynn, Nahant and Saugus.

"I've always tried to work and build relationships," he said. "I really care about the district, and I'm honored to be the senator."

He cited specifically his efforts to build the Essex Country trade school and helping Salem State College to become Salem State University.

For the future, McGee stressed the need for a bipartisan approach to resolving the state's problems and an end to negativity.

"People want to see that," he said.

Throughout the campaign McGee maintained a cordial relationship with Dent and last night was no different.

"We differed on the issues, but talked in a positive way," McGee said.

Dent was likewise generous in discussing his opponent's victory. On the other hand, he was clearly frustrated with the poor performance of Republicans statewide, in contrast to the rest of the country.

"The Democrats locally really buckled down," he said. Nevertheless, he expressed concern for a one-party "unassailable" political dynamic. "What I'm really worried for is the state of Massachusetts."

He noted that McGee had offered, when things calm down, "'We'll go out and get a cup of coffee.' ... I wished him luck."