By Tracy Williams 10-15-13
Peter Koutoujian was confident and energized when he entered the Westin Hotel Ballroom tonight in Waltham to applause and whistles from his supporters. A passerby would not have known that he just lost the Massachusetts 5th Congressional District Primary special election to his opponent, State Senator Katherine Clark.
Koutoujian graciously thanked his audience, assuring everyone, “We did everything we could.”
Just minutes earlier, supporters were sipping glasses of wine and nibbling on plates of cheese and vegetables, casually watching the results roll in on a large projector screen. The candidate’s children were with other youngsters sitting in front of the screen, staying entertained by counting down each minute as the webpage refreshed the polling results.
After realizing that Koutoujian was down by 5 points (Clark- 27.6%, Koutoujian 22.6%) with 76.1% of the precincts reporting, more and more people began to accept defeat.
But even as the outcome looked less promising, the crowd did not lose its energy. One particular supporter decked from head to toe in blue, white, and yellow Koutoujian gear stood by the screen the entire time – focused – and ready to command anyone that dared to step in front of the projector to move out of the way.
Finally, Clark was projected the winner. Sighs echoed throughout the ballroom, but the mood remained positive. The other Democratic candidates who vied for Ed Markey’s former seat included William Brownsberger, Martin Long, Paul John Maisano, Karen Spilka, and Carl Sciortino.
Koutoujian is the current Sheriff of Middlesex County, Massachusetts and resides in Waltham with his wife and three children.