NBC News and the Associated Press are projecting that Republican Charlie Baker has won the election for governor of Massachusetts.
Baker has defeated Democrat Martha Coakley and three independent candidates to reclaim the state's top political office for the GOP. However, Baker told supporters in a speech the wee hours of Wednesday that Coakley told him she wanted to wait until the morning to see the results before conceding.
He said he was fine with it, adding, "In politics, in elections, every vote counts, and I'm perfectly fine with giving her until the morning to see the results come in. That's the way it works, folks, and that's the way it should work."
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In his speech just after 1 a.m., Baker thanked his supporters and volunteers through not just this campaign, but past gubernatorial campaigns, as well.
"We can't wait to make this state sing," he said to supporters.
The 57-year-old Baker is the former CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. He worked hard to reach out to independent and Democratic voters and women as he tried to project a more moderate image than four years ago, when he lost to incumbent Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick. Patrick opted not to seek election to a third term.
Baker also had to overcome a few self-inflicted stumbles and criticism from Coakley and Democrats that he was out of touch with ordinary voters.
Baker's win puts the governor's office back in Republican hands for the first time since Gov. Mitt Romney's term ended in 2007.