DRACUT -- State Rep. Colleen Garry on Tuesday declared victory over her Republican challenger, Ray Leczynski, in the 36th Middlesex District race.
According to unofficial results from both her campaign managers, Garry received a total of 10,397 votes and Leczynski received 5,853. This number did not include the votes from Dracut's Precinct 4.
"I have to say, this is one of the most exciting election nights that I've ever had," Garry told a crowd of supporters from Lo Kai Restaurant in Dracut. "I am so proud of the campaign that we have run."
Reached by phone shortly after 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, Leczynski said he was conceding.
"I want to thank my family, friends, and campaign volunteers who worked so hard, and of course all the voters who cast ballots for me," he said. "I am so appreciative of all the support I received."
Throughout her campaign, Garry has stood by her record and touted her years of dedication to Dracut and Tyngsboro. She has held this position for more than two decades. Garry has described herself as not just a legislator, but a leader in the community committed to keeping Dracut and Tyngsboro together.
Leczynski, a lifelong Dracut resident and military veteran, said if elected he would focus on controlled spending and taxes, increase local aid for education and public safety, and fight to ensure parents have a say in local curriculum. Leczynski also said he'd vote in favor of the death penalty for murderers of police officers, or introduce the legislation if necessary.
Since early Tuesday morning, supporters of Garry and Leczynski (as well as other candidates) braved the rain while camped out with signs at the entrance of the Dr. Christos Daoulas Education Complex in Dracut. The parking lot of the Justus C. Richardson Middle School, the polling station for precincts 2 & 6 and 5 & 9, was packed with cars for most of the day.
Alison Genest, of Dracut, held a Ray Leczynski sign at around 3 p.m. She said the candidate is her first cousin. Genest said she was voting for Leczynski because she thinks that he better represents what the people of Dracut and Tyngsboro are looking for.
"I think that he has the business experience that Beacon Hill and too many politicians lack," said Genest, 50. "He's not a lifelong politician."
A few feet away from Genest stood fellow Dracut resident Adam Sullivan under a green-and-white umbrella. He said he voted for Garry.
"She's full time for the town of Dracut, town of Tyngsboro, and she really cares about the constituents here," said Sullivan, 38. "If you go to her and you have an issue that you're passionate about that is important to you, she makes it important to her."
Follow Amaris Castillo on Twitter @AmarisCastillo.