In today's Sentinel & Enterprise:
LEOMINSTER -- Based on unofficial poll numbers counted at both candidates' camps, political newcomer Natalie Higgins has beaten Ward 5 City Council Richard Marchand to be the Democratic nominee to represent the 4th Worcester District.
"Thanks to everyone who believed that a girl who's wanted to serve her community for her entire life was the best choice," an emotional Higgins told supporters gathered at the Luxury Box just before 9 p.m.
According to unofficial totals gathered by Higgins supporters, the 28-year-old Democrat pulled in 1,475 votes, just 38 more than Marchand's 1437.
These totals matched fairly evenly with the numbers reported by Marchand's supporters, who reported a loss by 40 votes.
"It's not the end of the world, guys," Marchand told his supporters during his concession speech. "It hurts to lose once in a while, but you push on."
Higgins attributed her campaign's election day get-out-the-vote initiative as having been especially crucial in Thursday's victory.
"We left nothing on the table and I'm thankful for all the people who have run campaigns in the past for helping me make sure things were done right the first time," she said.
In a phone cal not long after conceding defeat, Marchand told Higgins: "I want to congratulate you. You have a great family, you ran a great campaign. I want to wish you the best of luck as you take the next step in this race."
Higgins later told her supporters that she looked forward to working with Marchand during the rest of the campaign.
"We chatted and we're going to work together to make sure this seat remains a Democratic seat," she said.
Results came at the end of an election day where some ward officials were reporting low voter turnout.
"It's been very, very low. Everybody's waiting for the next election in November," said Donald Piermarini, the poll warden for Ward 5B.
Ward 5A Warden Cynthia Henderson said she experienced decent numbers for her ward.
"It's been pretty good for a ward this size. In a state primary only about 10 percent of the voters usually come out," she said.
Higgins will now face off against unopposed Republican candidate Thomas "Frank" Ardinger in the November election.