Republican Dooley wins a third state rep term

State Rep. Shawn Dooley is set to begin a third two-year term in Boston. Dooley, R-Norfolk, edged out Democratic challenger Brian Hamlin of Plainville in Tuesday's state election.

The 9th Norfolk District includes Plainville, Wrentham and Norfolk, as well as parts of Walpole, Medfield and Millis, and Dooley was victorious in each.

In Plainville, Dooley garnered 2,183 votes to Hamlin's 1,831. The incumbent won Wrentham 3,406 to 2,018. Over in Norfolk, Dooley received 2,952 votes to Hamlin's 2,159.

Dooley, 52, is actually in his fifth year representing the district as he initially filled an unexpired term of Dan Winslow. He had been town clerk in Norfolk and a member of its school committee before winning state office.

"I am just very, very happy," Dooley said. "I think I worked very hard for the district and I am just incredibly honored and humbled that people had such confidence in me."

Dooley estimated his campaign "hit on almost 11,000 doors." "The past five years I put people over politics," Dooley said. "People were overly concerned with partisan rhetoric. I think that resonated with voters."

Hamlin, 56, who owns a cabinet business in Norfolk, ran against Dooley two years ago, with Dooley coming out on top with 61 percent of the vote. Concerned about a rise in problems related to guns, opioid addiction, and mental health, Hamlin said he decided to make another run at the office. He also said he wanted to improve communication with constituents and the towns.

Dooley, incidentally, was the only Attleboro area Republican state representative to have a contest in the election. Reps. Jay Barrows, R-Mansfield, Steven Howitt, R-Seekonk, and Betty Poirier, R-North Attleboro, were unopposed.

Turnout was especially high in Norfolk, where 5,241 or 72.6 percent of 7,220 registered voters cast ballots, but Wrentham and Plainville weren't far behind, with around 65 percent.

"It felt like a presidential election," Norfolk Town Clerk Carol Greene said. "They just kept coming."

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