Two-term incumbent Will Brownsberger has beaten political newcomer and Belmont resident Lalig Musserian in the race for the 24th Middlesex state House seat.
According to unofficial returns, Brownsberger got 12,690 votes or 78 percent of the total to Musserian's 3,648 or 22 percent.
"I feel happy, and tired," Brownsberger said. "I think I got my message out to the voters."
Brownsberger, a Belmont Democrat, said he believed he had an edge in the race because of his experience. Prior to moving to the state Legislature, he served on the Belmont Board of Selectmen and was an assistant attorney general.
Musserian, who immigrated to the U.S. when she was a teenager, said she was motivated to run for the office because of concerns over the state's dire financial outlook.
"Our taxes are so high, and sometimes you look around and you don't even see what you're getting for your money," said Musserian, who ran as an independent. "As a project management professional, I really believed I could have brought my experience in accomplishing tasks within a specific timeframe and budget to the table and made changes."
Both candidates spoke specifically about Belmont's local aid figures. One of Musserian's issues was that the Chapter 70 formula used to determine local aid numbers was very difficult to understand, raising questions about whether Belmont was receiving its due.
Brownsberger said that he had worked with other legislators on local aid, and that he was sure it would be a big issue in his next term.
"Our number one priority is going to be money," Brownsberger said. "We will be looking at the rules on legislative spending and also taking up the issue of pension reform."
Musserian said she had not ruled out the possibility of another bid for public office, but that she planned to rest after the campaign season.
"I'm just feeling a cacophony of emotions right now," she said. "But I still have my passion to serve the community, and I'm open to the idea."
Sarah Thomas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.