October 6 - 1996: Delahunt's long reign begins with a question mark

Cape Cod and South Shore's "hanging chads"
No longer in the running for the 10th Congressional District after a judge named his opponent the winner in the Democratic primary, Philip Johnston said he would appeal the ruling.

Phil Johnston wins primary but loses it to a friendly judge

On this day in 1996 the 10th Congressional District had its own "hanging chad" snafu.

Phil Johnston who had won the Democratic primary in September to replace Gary Studds as the United State Congressman for the South Shore and Cape Cod, discovered that a judge from William Delahunt's home town where he was Norfolk County prosecutor had reversed the election results approved by the Secretary of State.

The headlines that day read:

New York Times - Candidate's Ballot Surprise: Phil Johnston at rally with Hillary Clinton when he heard the bad news  .
    Earlier tallies and a recount, validated by the Secretary of State's office, had given the race to Mr. Johnston.
    Judge Donovan reviewed about 900 ballots from the Sept. 17 primary and determined that in many cases, an electronic scanner had read ballots marked for Mr. Delahunt as blank only because they had not been punched through cleanly.

SouthCoastToday: Ousted Johnston rips election judge.
    Mr. Johnston, however, charged that Judge Donovan ruled indiscriminately. He also said that some of the ballots could have been damaged during earlier recounts.
    Judge Donovan was a former assistant attorney general under then Attorney General Frank Bellotti, one of Mr. Delahunt's campaign strategists. While Mr. Johnston questioned her decision, his campaign aides hastened to add that they were not suspicious of her ethics.

 Today Philip W. Johnston is the President and Founder of the successful communications and public affairs consulting firm, Johnston Associates, LLC.

Former Congressman William Delahunt is attempting - unsuccessfully so far - to open three Marijuana Dispensaries.


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