State Representative Linda Dorcena Forry cruised to victory Tuesday night in the race for a state Senate seat long held by men from South Boston, formally marking the start of a new era with the Dorchester Democrat taking the so-called “Southie seat.”
Dorcena Forry defeated Republican Joseph Anthony Ureneck in the First Suffolk district race, capturing nearly 82 percent of the 9,618 votes cast, according to unofficial figures posted on the city of Boston website.
“It feels wonderful, ” Dorcena Forry said in a phone interview Tuesday night. “I look forward to working with everyone in the First Suffolk district and really being their voice and working hard on everyone’s behalf.”
For decades, men from South Boston have held the First Suffolk seat, which also includes Mattapan, most of Dorchester, and a portion of Hyde Park.
John A. Hart Jr., who resigned the seat in January to take a job with a law firm, had held it since 2002, when he was elected to replace US Representative Stephen Lynch, a native of South Boston. Before Lynch, the seat was held for 25 years by William M. Bulger.
Dorcena Forry, 39, who was first elected to the House in 2005, said she will continue working on a number of her priorities in the Senate, including small business development, public education, and public safety.
“I am up for the challenge,” Dorcena Forry said.
Ureneck, 61, said Tuesday that he hopes that Dorcena Forry tackles child custody and child support regulations, as well as domestic abuse laws.
In another special election on Tuesday, Jay Livingstone, a 39-year-old attorney from Beacon Hill, won the Democratic nomination for the state House seat that includes the Back Bay, Beacon Hill, and parts of Cambridge. It was formerly held by Martha “Marty” Walz, who announced in January that she was stepping aside to head the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts.
Livingstone defeated Josh Dawson, a 30-year-old Ohio native and former Massachusetts political aide, in Tuesday’s primary by an unofficial count of 1,786 votes to 791.
There were no Republicans on the primary ballot, but Cambridge resident Victor Navarro previously told the Globe that he was launching a write-in campaign to become the GOP nominee. He could not be reached for comment, and write-in results were not available late Tuesday night.
The general election is scheduled for June 25.
Livingstone said Tuesday night that he was “humbled” by the voters’ support and that he hopes to build on the legacy of Walz, retired US Congressman Barney Frank, and other Bay State political luminaries who have held the seat.
“I look forward to reaching out to all of the community leaders and bringing the community together and working hard,” said Livingstone, who counts public education and reversing funding cuts to social programs as top priorities.
Dawson offered kind words for his opponent.
“I’m pumped that he will be representing me at the State House,” Dawson said. “He has my full support.”
Walz, who endorsed Livingstone for the seat, commended the Democratic nominee on Tuesday night.
“Jay’s margin of victory proves that the community wants a strong advocate as well as someone who can handle the policy work required” of a state representative, she said.