Koczera Loses to Political Newcomer Hendricks in State Rep. Race
NEW BEDFORD — A small, yet significant political upset has taken place in the 11th Bristol District.
State Representative Robert Koczera, who has represented the district that encapsulates Acushnet and much of New Bedford for 30 years, has been ousted by political newcomer Christopher Hendricks. Both are Democrats.
Hendricks squeaked out a nine-vote lead in New Bedford, with unofficial numbers tallying Hendricks' 690 to Koczera's 681. New Bedford Election Commissioner Manuel DeBrito says only 8.4% of registered voters in New Bedford cast ballots in Tuesday's primary.
In Acushnet, the margin of victory was much more comfortable for Hendricks, though still close. Koczera managed 339 votes to Hendricks' 355. The Town Clerk's office in Acushnet reports a 16.6% voter turnout with 1,236 registered voters showing up to the polls on Tuesday.
Though Tuesday night's totals mark a victory for Hendricks, New Bedford and Acushnet will hand count absentee ballots for an official tally which is expected towards the end of the week.
There were no Republican candidates for the 11th Bristol District seat, meaning Tuesday's primary was a decisive election for the position.
This story will be updated.