From Sentinel and Enterprise
By Amanda Burke
FITCHBURG -- Local Democrats rallied behind Sue Chalifoux Zephir Wednesday after the Leominster City Councilor handily cinched the Democratic nomination for the Worcester-Middlesex state Senate special election.
A total of 6,833 district residents cast ballots for Chalifoux Zephir in the primary on Tuesday, meaning the eight-year councilor netted nearly 52 percent of the Democratic vote, according to preliminary results.
At a morning gathering of local Democrats at Slattery's Restaurant in Fitchburg ahead of the Dec. 5 general, Fitchburg Mayor Stephen DiNatale urged the room populated by a few dozen people including legislators Stephan Hay, Jon Zlotnik and Natalie Higgins, to support Chalifoux Zephir's run for the Senate.
"I've known Susan for a long long time ... she'll be an outstanding advocate for us in the Statehouse because of her years of experience in local politics and local government," DiNatale said. "So we've got the task ahead of us to get her on Beacon Hill."
Chalifoux Zephir spoke next. She thanked her "smart, hardworking" primary challengers Michael Kushmerek and Michael Mahan for a "really good" campaign.
She promised to double down on efforts to claim the state Senate seat that became vacant in August when Democrat Jennifer Flanagan left to serve on the Cannabis Control Commission.
"I'm really going to work extremely hard to make sure that we win this seat and we keep it Democratic," she said before embracing Kushmerek and Mahan.