Hill concedes state Senate race to Morse

November 17, 2010

State Sen. John Morse is safe. After all the votes in Senate District 11 were counted, Morse emerged victorious over his Republican challenger, Owen Hill.

Hill lost by 340 votes in a race in which more than 28,000 votes were cast. He waited for all the district’s provisional ballots to be counted before throwing in the towel. That count was completed late Tuesday.

(See complete election results here.)

In a phone call to Morse on Tuesday night, he congratulated the Senate majority leader on a well-fought race.

Morse, who announced Hill’s concession on his Facebook page, said his Republican opponent offered sincere congratulations.

“I won it straight up, and he offered me the very best of luck in the upcoming session,” Morse said.

Hill, a budget analyst with Compassion International and 28-year-old political newcomer, said he hopes to continue working with Morse on policy issues, but isn’t sure that he’ll stay in politics.

“The jury’s still out on whether I love campaigning or hate it with every bone in my body,” Hill said with a laugh.

Hill said he and Morse share a mutual hatred of attack politics, and talked Tuesday night about the negative influence of so-called 527’s, political organizations with no campaign finance restrictions.

One mailer financed by a 527 group depicted Morse as a bank robber, about to crack a vault at the state treasury. The caption read, “State Senator John Morse wrote the reckless plan that breaks the bank on state spending.” Another 527 made Hill out to be a gypsy fortune teller, and read, “A look into Owen Hill’s crystal ball — risky cuts to Social Security.”

“You get into politics, and you think it’ll be a good opportunity to have a good conversation about what works and what doesn’t,” lamented Hill. “The 527s polarize the debate.”

“The 527’s get to decide what the message is,” agreed Morse.

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