A friend asked Rep. Marie E. Howe (D-Somerville) if she needed a life-saver as the unofficial figures reporting her defeat to Rep. Peter A. Vellucci were announced at her "victory party" at the American Legion in Somerville.
Howe replied that she already had two.
But Howe said she would wait for official results from Cambridge and Somerville city halls before making any official announcement.
"We're going to hang in 'till all the votes are in," she said, smiling and shaking hands with supporters. "The difference in Cambridge is not that great--there may have been mistakes made."
Prior to the election Vellucci had said that if he got his "people out to vote in Cambridge and Somerville" he would win.
Because of redistricting, the election which observers called very close, pitted the two Democratic incumbents against each other. Many observers said that geography would play a large role in the voting. Vellucci won all of the Cambridge precincts and took approximately 40 percent of the vote in Somerville.
Howe, a 12-term state representative, thanked approximately 100 supporters who had sat nervously listening to big-band music and eating ham and cheese sandwiches until the results were announced.
"I'm sad," said Howe supporter Marion Gray, who participated in a phone bank identifying potential voters. "I'd tell you how I really feel, but you couldn't print it."