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When Marjorie O'Neill Clapprood met her supporters at the Park Plaza Hotel last night, she gave them the news for which they had been waiting: She would be the Democratic party's next candidate for lieutenant governor.
Late last night, the Associated Press reported that based on early returns, Clapprood had garnered 53 percent of the vote in the statewide primary. That was more than enough to oust her two opponents--state Rep. William B. Golden (D-Weymouth), who garnered 29 percent, and state Sen. Nicholas A. Paleologos (D-Woburn), who won 18 percent.
Come November, Clapprood will face the victor of last night's Republican primary, state Sen. Paul Cellucci (R-Hudson).
Clapprood, a single mother of two, quickly moved to associate herself with her party's surprise gubernatorial nominee, John R. Silber. Almost immediately after her speech, Clapprood headed for the Copley Plaza Hotel, where Silber was holding his victory party.
"I think that John and I compliment each other very well," she said at a joint appearance with Silber. "The voters were looking for a couple of straight shooters."
A late-night computer tabulation gave Clapprood an even more decisive victory in Cambridge, where she won 66 percent of the votes.
"I am ready and I am anxious and I am eager and, yes, I am hungry," Clapprood told the crowd of about 150. Speaking of welfare programs, social security benefits and Medicaid, Clapprood reminded her audience that "these were programs born and created not of the Republican party, but of the Democratic party."
A few blocks away, Celucci had equally harsh words for his rival party.
"The Dems have made Massachusetts the laughing stock of the nation," Cellucci said at his victory celebration at the Colonnade Hotel.
Clapprood urged Democratic voters to support the new ticket.
"A lot of our brothers and sisters have left the fold," Clapprood said in an almost preaching tone. For those voters who recently abandonded the Democratic party, Clapprood had bitter words.
"It seems you want to take the refund but you don't want to make the deposit for the next generation," she said.
Clapprood called for an era of "compassionate solvency," as opposed to "solvency at the expense of compassion" offered by her Republican opposition.
She also took aim at the controversial Citizens for Limited Taxation ballot referendum, which would return state taxes and fees to their 1988 levels.
Not suprisingly, the mood in the runner-up's headquarters was considerably more subdued, even if a few of the same themes were sounded.
"We're going to go on to support Marjorie," said Golden, appearing with his family on the podium. "We're going to put all the resources of this campaign behind a winning ticket in November."
Like Clapprood, Golden enjoined supporters to fight the CLT plan, which is supported by Republican gubernatorial nominee William F. Weld '66.
"We also have another mission in November, and that is to defeat the CLT petition," Golden said.
Present at the victory celebration were members of the Black Political Task Force, a ten-year old interest group which endorsed Clapprood.
"She was the more viable candidate," said Kevin Byrd, a member of the group and a Harvard employee.
The reception also drew some independent voters to cheer on their candidate. "People talk about how the Lieutenant Governor is a non-position," said Victor Oliveira. "I think Margie will change that."
"Above all, I think she's knowledgable... That's what grabbed me about Margie," he said.
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