DENNIS — By 10 p.m., state Sen. Daniel Wolf was ready to make his victory speech. His staff estimated he had 51 percent of the votes in the Mid- and Upper Cape towns. Lower Cape towns hadn't reported, but his staff believed those towns leaned heavily in his favor.
Republican opponent Ron Beaty did not concede, but said he would return home and read the results in the morning.
Based on town clerk reports at 11:45 p.m., Wolf led Beaty 40,595 to 26,437, or 60 percent to 39 percent, with 14 of 20 towns in the Cape and Islands Senate District reporting.
Wolf won a fourth term in office and, after thanking his family, friends and campaign workers, he pointed out what a bizarre year it had been with an aborted gubernatorial campaign and a challenger who would not answer the bell for any debates and whose background included 14 months in federal prison for threatening the lives of a U.S. president, U.S. senator and state senator.
He told supporters Tuesday night that Beaty was not right for the district and would not have been fit for the Statehouse.
He also told the 50 or so supporters at the Sand Dollar Bar & Grill in Dennis that he was ready to take on the problems of the Cape and of the state.
"I am going to govern for everybody," he said. "We believe in each other and care for each other."
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High on Wolf's agenda is supporting the Cape's efforts at cleaning up its wastewater problems. He was a key player in securing money to update the Cape Cod Commission's wastewater plan, which some believe has the potential to save the region as much as $4 billion by upgrading the regulatory status of cheaper alternative technologies.
Wolf also wants to advocate for ways to bolster the middle class and bridge the gap between income and cost-of-living, particularly the high cost of housing on the Cape.
"We are really starting to understand better what the disparity of wealth and income is doing," he said during the campaign.
He sees access to education and workforce training as the drivers in creating opportunities and leveling the playing field.
Wolf said the Cape has already laid the foundation for creating more affordable housing. The challenge now will be to fund it.
Beaty considers himself a community activist who knows how to shake things up. He's concerned that the Cape has an unfriendly stance toward business, leading to fewer opportunities for young people and spurring their migration off Cape in search of work and affordable housing.
He led yet another campaign against the Cape Cod Commission this past year by spearheading the effort to get a question on town meeting warrants asking for a vote on withdrawing from the commission. He opposed building a third bridge across the Cape Cod Canal and the Cape Wind project.