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Romney wins Massachusetts governor's race

Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney

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BOSTON, Massachusetts (CNN) -- Republican Mitt Romney defeated State Treasurer Shannon O'Brien Tuesday as the GOP sought to continue its 12-year hold on the Massachusetts governor's office, CNN projected.

Ever since Bill Weld's election win in 1991, Massachusetts has had a Republican governor -- even as Democrats held lopsided majorities in the state Legislature, most statewide offices and the entire congressional delegation.

Republican fortunes improved dramatically this spring when acting Gov. Jane Swift, a Republican, suffering from plummeting poll numbers and a stifling budget crunch, quit the race and endorsed Romney, a wealthy businessman and 1994 Senate nominee.

The founder of the multibillion-dollar holding company Bain Capital and son of George Romney, former Michigan governor and 1968 presidential candidate, Mitt Romney more recently ran the organizing committee for the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.

O'Brien defeated three other Democrats in the September 17 primary -- Robert Reich, who was Labor secretary under President Clinton, state Senate President Tom Birmingham and former state Sen. Warren Tolman.

Four years ago, O'Brien became the first woman elected treasurer of Massachusetts.

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