Metro

Murphy wins Suffolk register of deeds race

Stephen Murphy, the former city councilor, won a seven-way Democratic primary for Suffolk County register of deeds Thursday.
DINA RUDICK/GLOBE STAFF/FILE 2013
Stephen Murphy, the former city councilor, won a seven-way Democratic primary for Suffolk County register of deeds Thursday.

Former Boston city councilor Stephen J. Murphy won a seven-way Democratic primary for Suffolk County register of deeds Thursday, reviving the political career of a fixture in city politics.

Murphy, whose name recognition made him the heavy favorite in the low-profile race, will face off against three little-known independents in the general election in November.

If he prevails there, he will lead a 28-person office charged with recording real estate transactions in Suffolk County.

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Murphy has given little indication of how he would run the office, speaking broadly of the management bona fides he built on the City Council and praising existing personnel.

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“There’s a very talented staff in place, and they don’t need someone to come in to tell them how to do their jobs,” he told the Globe earlier this month. “I have management [experience] through the Boston City Council, where I focused daily on constituent services. I believe that’s a place [the registry of deeds] can improve.”

Murphy served on the City Council for nearly two decades, before losing his spot on the panel last year.

He has made unsuccessful bids for several offices over the course of his career, and during the register campaign, opponent Katherine V. Forde called him “an opportunist who is running for a paycheck and the pension.”

Murphy fired back that Forde had engaged in a “cheap political attack.”

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Forde, a paralegal, finished a close second Thursday and pledged to remain involved in politics. “I think we ran a fabulous campaign,” she said. “Life goes on.”

Other candidates included Dorchester mapping expert Paul Nutting Jr., lawyer Stephanie Everett, and former Boston City Council candidate Jeff Ross.

Two perennial candidates for office in the region, Michael Mackan and Douglas Bennett, also ran in the Democratic primary.

In other county races:

 In a two-way Democratic primary for Suffolk County sheriff, incumbent Steven Tompkins beat Alexander Rhalimi, the owner of a transportation company.

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 Kevin Coppinger beat five Democrats in the primary to replace Essex County Sheriff Frank Cousins. Republicans nominated Anne Manning-Martin, who beat four other candidates.

 In Hampden County, Democrats voted in a spirited four-way race for sheriff. The candidates were Michael Albano, Thomas Ashe, Nick Cocchi, and John Grifin.

Albano, a governor’s councilor and the former mayor of Springfield, conceded early in the evening. “Although we came up short, I believe we made a real contribution to the dialogue of this race,” he said on Twitter.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. David Scharfenberg can be reached at david.scharfenberg @globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @dscharfGlobe.