On April 5, 2004, State Senator Charlie Shannon died, and a special election was soon declared to fill his seat. Jehlen, whose state house district lay within the senate district vacated by Shannon, entered the race. She faced three other candidates in the Democratic primary: State Representative Paul Casey of Winchester, Governor's Councilor Michael Callahan of Medford, and former State Representative Joseph Mackey, who had represented the same district Jehlen now did.
Jehlen staked out her position early as "the progressive", with the support of a plethora of unions and statewide and national progressive organizations, including MassEquality, SEIU, and Democracy for America. Although the race was considered wide open, with expectations that any of the four candidates could win, Jehlen won a substantial victory in the August 30th primary:
- 38% Pat Jehlen
- 27% Joe Mackey
- 22% Michael Callahan
- 13% Paul Casey
She went on to defeat Somerville Alderman-at-large William White, the Republican Candidate, in the September 27th general election. She was sworn in October 12, 2005.
Read more about this topic: Patricia D. Jehlen
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