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Daniel Hunt nominated for Martin Walsh seat

Daniel Hunt defeated four others.

Daniel J. Hunt, a former state parks official, won the Democratic nomination in a special election Tuesday to succeed Mayor Martin J. Walsh of Boston in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, according to unofficial results.

Hunt, 33, topped four other contenders for his party’s nod in the Dorchester-anchored district, the 13th Suffolk, which includes some of the most politically active sections of Boston.

There were no Republicans on the primary ballot, and Hunt will be the favorite to win the April 1 special general election.

Hunt had garnered 2,249 votes in Boston, more than twice as many as the second-place finisher, John K. O’Toole, who tallied 1,052, according to unofficial results posted on the city’s Election Department website.


Hunt also carried the sole Quincy precinct, grabbing 88 of the 137 ballots cast, the city clerk’s office said.

Hunt did not return a call seeking comment on the results, but he said earlier in the day after voting that, should he be elected, he would focus on public safety, education, and small business development. Hunt, a lawyer, spoke of “recapitalizing some of the [state’s] small business loan funds” and working to bring high-tech incubator space to Dorchester.

Hunt, who left his post as director of government affairs at the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation to make the bid, was the first candidate to officially get in the race and worked to lock up early support.

A lifelong Dorchester resident, he comes from a family long involved in local causes and politics.

He could succeed where his father and a brother did not. Both ran for the same State House seat in previous decades, but were not victorious.

Walsh, who did not endorse anyone in the race, resigned the seat he had held since 1997 to become mayor this year. A spokeswoman for Walsh did not respond to inquiries seeking comment on the results on Tuesday night.


The 13th Suffolk District, a longtime center of political power, in part because of its relatively high proportion of people who show up at the polls, stretches from near the JFK/UMass MBTA station to Walsh’s home base of Savin Hill to the Neponset neighborhood and over the Neponset River to a single precinct in Quincy.

The seat has historically been a springboard to seek higher office. Walsh’s predecessor James T. Brett ran unsuccessfully for mayor against Thomas M. Menino in 1993.

“People in the district expect you to do an exceptional job, that you move very quickly in the Legislature, that you are well versed in the issues, that you bring meaningful results,” Brett told the Globe Sunday.

Hunt’s four opponents were: Liam Curran, a lawyer who works for the City of Boston; Gene Gorman, a lecturer at Emerson College; P.J. McCann, a lawyer for the Boston Public Health Commission; and O’Toole, a community activist and former City Council candidate.

There were three other special primary elections for the House Tuesday and one for the state Senate.

In the Second Suffolk District, which includes Charlestown and parts of Chelsea, three Democrats vied to succeed Eugene L. O’Flaherty, who resigned his House seat to become Boston’s corporation counsel.

The top vote-getter was Daniel Joseph Ryan of Boston, who garnered 2,290 votes to win the nomination, according to unofficial figures from both cities. Roy A. Avellaneda of Chelsea finished second with 1,260. Christopher Remmes of Boston had 438.


No Republicans were on the ballot, though 83 write-in votes were cast in Boston on the GOP side.

Voter turnout, in Boston, for the 13th and Second Suffolk districts was slightly below 20 percent.

In the 16th Suffolk House District, which covers parts of Chelsea, Revere, and Saugus, Democrat Roselee Vincent claimed the party nomination with 1,132 votes, according to unofficial figures from the three communities.

She was trailed by Linda S. Rosa, who notched 632 votes, and Joshua D. Monahan, who had 467.

On the Republican side, Todd B. Taylor, the only GOP candidate on the ballot, received 165 votes.

Voters in Westfield also went to the polls in a special primary election to fill the Fourth Hampden District House seat vacated by Donald F. Humason Jr., now a state senator.

The only Republican candidate on the ballot, Councilor Dan Allie, received 462 votes, while the lone Democratic hopeful, veteran John C. Velis, got 393, according to unofficial results. Turnout was at less than 4 percent.

Complete results for the other special primary to fill the Fifth Middlesex District Senate seat, which Katherine M. Clark vacated after winning a seat in Congress, were not available at press time.

Joshua Miller can be reached at joshua.miller@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jm_bos. Travis Andersen
can be reached at travis.andersen@
. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.