In the closely-watched Republican primary in the 10th Congressional District, Jeff Perry, a state representative from Wareham, easily defeated former state Treasurer Joe Malone on Tuesday night.
The retirement of Democratic Congressman William Delahunt, created a rare open congressional seat in the 10th district -- which the National Republican Party identified one where Republicans have a legitimate chance to pick up a seat in the House of Representatives.
For that to happen, Perry will have to beat Northfolk District Attorney Bill Keating, who won last night's Democratic nomination over state Sen. Robert O'Leary. But Perry can count on an influx of cash from the National Republic Party as he campaigns toward Election Day.
After a primary that at times seemed as nasty as any general election, Perry's victory speech evoked familiar campaign themes: reforming the country's immigration system, reducing federal spending and repealing President Obama's health care reform legislation.
"We have had enough, we have had enough of business as usual in Washington," Perry said. "We have had enough of the overspending, the over-taxing, the un-Constitutional acts of Congress. We are taking back our government right now."
Perry also invited dissatisfied Democrats to cross party lines and join his campaign.
"My Democrats out there, your party has left you. Your party was once the great party of the working man. Your party once shared family values. Your party once believed in the Constitution." Perry said. "Come with us. Come be a part of this. If you believe the best days are ahead in this country, come with us. Be a 'Perry Patriot.' "
Perry was plagued throughout the primary by questions about his time as a Wareham police sergeant in the early 1990s, when an officer under his command went to prison for illegally strip searching two teenage girls. Perry was not charged during in the incident.
But on Tuesday night, those accusations didn't seem to bother supporters, who said they put little stock in such reports.
Eileen Debono of Sandwich said Perry's record was more important to her than rumors. She said she views Perry as an honorable person who shares her values."Every person who ever needed Jeff and called him as their state representative got the help they needed," Dobono said. "He's really a wonderful person, and he gets the job done, so I admire him."
Anthony Anadronico of Quincy said he was not a bit concerned about Perry's past, as long as the candidate follows through on his campaign promises. "I'd vote for Quasimoto if he reigns in spending, as opposed to a nice shiny guy who is going to spend at this rate."
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