FITCHBURG — Incumbent Democratic state Rep. Michael Kushmerek took a decisive victory over Republican challenger Aaron Packard in Tuesday’s election.
Based on unofficial results from Fitchburg, Kushmerek took the lead in each of Fitchburg’s precincts, giving him a 2,860 to 1,529 lead over Packard. Results from Fitchburg Wards 3A, 3B, 5A, and 5B were not available by press time. Results from Lunenburg precinct B were also not immediately available.
Reached by phone, Kushmerek said he felt “energized and grateful” as results came in.
“There’s a whole lot of volunteers and friends and family that get you here to this point,” Kushmerek said.”You owe it to those people. My wife has been watching my six-month-old all day and a lot of blood, sweat and tears gets us to this point as well.”
Kushmerek added that he was grateful for the residents who placed their trust in him to represent the district and that he was excited to get back to work on Wednesday morning.
As he turns his eye toward a second term, Kushmerek emphasized he was excited to continue working with the entire local delegation including state Sen. John Cronin.
“The entire delegation is laser-focused on things like transportation, education funding, and housing and economic development,” Kushmerek said. “I think we’ve shown time and time again, if we work together well, we’re stronger as a delegation.”
The former city councilor was first elected in 2020 over retired Fitchburg police Lt. Glenn Fossa. Then incumbent Democrat Stephen Hay chose not to seek re-election.
In the lead-up to the election, Kushmerek touted success in securing “more than $4.8 million in direct funding and another $60 million in bond authorizations for district priorities” such as infrastructure, public safety and parks.
Kushmerek also stressed that, on his watch, legislation related to pediatric mental health access, protecting veteran’s benefits, incentivizing housing construction and more had passed through the State House. He recently told the Sentinel & Enterprise that his “greatest achievements” consisted of “helping more than 1,000 constituents resolve complex issues,” meeting with and touring “200 local businesses over the past 24 months” and working well with legislators on both sides of the aisle.
Despite the differences between Kushmerek and Packard, the two ran a largely cordial campaign, even embracing one another outside the Thomas C. Passios Elementary School in Lunenburg around noontime Tuesday.
“I think how you campaign and how you approach an election campaign is a reflection of how you view your districts and how you view the people that you represent. Overwhelmingly I feel a sense of optimism about this district, about the people and the businesses that I represent. I think to treat them with anything less than optimism and respect would be a disservice to the folks that I currently represent and hope to represent over the next few years.”
Results will become official following certification by the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office.