With a sense of satisfaction and grateful for his family, friends, and supporters, former 3rd Congressional Disitrict candidate and real estate attorney Marty Lamb is back to work at his Holliston office.
Despite an endorsement from U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, the Republican lost by 17 percentage points (56-39) to Peter McGovern, who will be serving his eighth term. Though the district, which covers all or part of 28 cities and town towns from Worcester to Fall River, voted heavily in favor of unsuccessful Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker, Lamb won only five cities and towns (Hopkinton, North Attleborough, Plainville, Rehoboth and Brown's hometown of Wrentham).
McGovern carried Holliston 3,354-2,933.
While disappointed in the outcome, Lamb is pleased with the tenor of his campaign. Touting himself as a small businessman, Lamb ran on a platform of cutting spending, creating jobs and shrinking the deficit, while attempting to appeal to the Tea Party's irritation with Democratic incumbents and the state of the economy.
He also attracted attention for using puns (specifically his Lamb Chop Plan, which included the slogan "Lamb, Not Pork," a call to cut spending) and other gimmicks, like handing out air sickness bags and asking people if they were "sick of Congress."
"The message was clearly laid out, and we were able to outline the issues crisply, but at the end of the day, voters chose a different direction," Lamb said. "Our volunteer base was fantastic, and accomplished more than I could ever imagine. While our message of smaller government, jobs, and less taxation was carried well by our campaign, we were faced with being outspent ($1.3 million to $60,000 as of mid-October according to campaign filings)."
Campaigning throughout a district that covers 581 square miles, while maintaining a business, was a challenge, but enjoyable for Lamb.
"You discuss farm issues in Rehobeth and the fishing industry as well as allowing LNG (liquified natural gas) tankers into Fall River along with a wide range of issues that are unique to each community," Lamb said.
"The Democrats did a terrific job at getting out their vote. They had the cooperation of unions, who had people on the street election day, picking up their identified voters to get them to the polls."
Lamb sees that factor as a very significant weakness for Republican candidates, and he intends to work with Tea Party activists and others to address it. He also feels that having most of the congressional office holders around the state face serious competition, for the first time in a long time, was a victory of sorts.
"We forced incumbents to spend money here, while in the past, Democrats would raise money here, as much as ten million dollars, and send that money out of state to help other Democrats," said Lamb. "That money stayed here, which may have helped other candidates who might share a more conservative philosophy in other states."
"The end result was absolutely disappointing, but six months ago, the idea of running against an entrenched incumbent was a very long shot."
His loss notwithstanding, Lamb promises to stay involved in politics.
"Many of us will stand vigil on all the people who were elected to make sure they stay in touch with what they promised," he said. "I'm also going to be meeting Tea Party members and others, especially in Fall River and Worcester, to create a plan to get out our vote next time around."
Lamb plans to stay active with the Tea Party, which he says is primarily comprised of voters who aren't enrolled in either the Democratic or Republican party. Lamb sees the Tea Party movement as focused on smaller government, basic constitutional values, and lower taxes.
He expressed gratitude for the support of his family and friends, particularly for their support during the campaign.
"I made so many new friends throughout the campaign, friends who gave their money, their time, and their energy to the campaign, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to make so many new friends," Lamb said.