Six weeks before the general election, Richard A. Kraus, associate dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, knows that he will definitely become the next senator from the Fourth Middle sex district.
The initial returns from the September 14 Democratic primary showed that Kraus narrowly led a field of seven to take the nomination vacated by six-year incumbent Samuel Rotundi, who tried unsuccessfully for the lieutenant governor ship.
But James M. Lyons Jr., who finished second to Kraus by 161 votes, immediately challenged the results, asking for a recount of the 37,000 votes. It was the only such district-wide recount of the 200 legislative races in the state.
Lyons withdrew his request Sunday night, after Lexington. Worcester and Woburn had reviewed their numbers. "It was too many votes to turn around," he said yesterday.
No Republicans or Independents are on the November ballot, so the Democratic nomination assures Kraus the Senate seat.
Kraus first entered the race last January, and was widely considered a long shot at the outset. Lyons, an Arlington flower distributor, who ran for the seat four years ago, had the highest name recognition and was considered the favorite. But the Harvard admissions officer soon established himself as the most progressive candidate in the crowded field, and won the backing of conservative organizations praising him for "honesty and integrity."
Kraus has said he wants to be "a several-term senator" but has also insisted that he wants to stay at Harvard.