Incumbent Bill Keating held on to the state’s 9th Congressional District seat, fending off a challenge from Republican political newcomer Jesse Brown. 

This will be Keating’s seventh term in Congress and sixth representing the 9th District. A Democrat, Keating was first elected to Congress in 2010 to represent Massachusetts’ 10th District, capturing the 9th District in 2012 after redistricting. 

Keating announced his victory about 10:45 p.m., on WBSM’s SouthCoast Tonight. By midnight, Keating held 58% of about 220,000 votes, which represented 65% of total votes in the district. 

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Brown won some towns in the sparsely populated center of the district, including Rochester and Hanson. Keating won just about everywhere else, with especially wide margins along the Cape and the Islands. Keating also won in Brown’s hometown of Plymouth with 56% (15,779) of the vote. 

Keating campaigned on his history of environmental efforts, specifically infrastructure projects like offshore wind and coastal resiliency, which have the potential to boost the local economy while combating climate change. 

“Those are bread-and-butter issues that I have been involved in that really affect people’s lives for the better,” Keating told the Patriot-Ledger in October. “I have one of the greatest coastal districts in Congress, and, in many respects, we are the canary in the coal mine when it comes to environmental issues. We have to address that. It’s so fragile.”

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While Brown, a Marine veteran and small business owner from Plymouth, criticized Keating for being a “career politician,” Keating campaigned on it. In interviews he said “getting things done also involves relationships, and I have those necessary relationships among my partners in local government, my colleagues both in my party and across the aisle, and with members of the administration, many of whom I have known and served with for years.”

In 1977, at the age of 23, Keating won his first election to the State House. He was later elected to be Norfolk district attorney, a position he held from 1999 until he was elected to Congress in 2010. Keating currently sits on the Foreign Affairs and Armed Services committees. 

On the campaign trail, Keating and Brown championed similar issues from different sides of the aisle. Both are advocates for energy independence, with Keating pushing for offshore wind development while Brown prioritized weaning off foreign oil by boosting domestic production. 

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Brown made securing the border a top priority and warned that “a flood of undocumented migrants threatens American sovereignty and security.” Keating has long focused on specific immigration policies like visa programs that allow immigrants to work temporary jobs, mostly in the vacation communities in his district that struggle to find workers during the summer season. 

Announcing his re-election on WBSM, Keating voiced his support for the strong Democratic coalition elected to state positions. He said he hopes to work with the newly elected governor, Maura Healey, on economic issues, attracting investment to spur more industry and jobs, while also protecting the environment. 

“We are a coastal area, we have challenges in that way,” he told WBSM. “[Governor Healey] has been very aggressive in protecting our coastal areas … It’s going to be a short learning curve.” 
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