BOSTON, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- Scott Brown, touching on general discontent with Washington, pulled off an election upset and became the first Republican elected from Massachusetts to the U.S. Senate since 1972.
He will take the seat vacated by the death of Ted Kennedy, who was elected to the position in 1962. The last previous Republican to win a Senate election in Massachusetts was Edward Brooke, who was voted out in 1978 after one term.
Brown on Tuesday defeated Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, whose election to the Senate was seen as a sure thing a few weeks ago. But Brown campaigned hard -- mostly against the Democrats' healthcare reform bill -- and by Christmas had made the election a true race. Even 11th-hour visits from former President Bill Clinton and current President Barack Obama in support of Coakley failed to stem Brown's momentum.
Brown, a state senator from Wrentham, took 52 percent of the vote to 47 percent for Coakley.
His victory speech didn't include the word "Republican" and he promised to be more along the ideological lines of Maine's Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins rather than more conservative members of the GOP caucus.
However, the central tenet of his campaign was to become the 41st vote against the Democrats' healthcare-reform plans. After Tuesday's results became apparent, several Democrats called for a revamping of the healthcare-reform bill.