WORCESTER – City real-estate lawyer Kathryn Toomey defeated state Rep. Kate D. Campanale, R-Worcester, in Tuesday’s race for register of deeds.

With nearly 90 percent of precincts reporting results Wednesday morning, Ms. Toomey garnered more than 118,000 votes, to Ms. Campanale’s 110,000-plus votes.

Ms. Toomey enjoyed an approximately 2-to-1 (31,664 to 15,992) margin in Worcester.


The register oversees property records for 55 cities and towns, and the seat is for six years.

Incumbent Register Anthony J. Vigliotti is retiring after 46 years.

It was the first foray into politics for Ms. Toomey, a 44-year-old Worcester Democrat who suggested she was more qualified for the post because, in her view, the office needed to be staffed by a real estate attorney.

Ms. Toomey, the daughter of the late Worcester Superior Court Judge Daniel F. Toomey, ran a word-of-mouth campaign.

In an interview after polls closed, Ms. Toomey said she spent most of the cold, wet day campaigning in Auburn, Shrewsbury, Holden and Worcester.

“I’m happy that I tried this,” she said while en route to El Basha restaurant in Worcester, to meet with fellow Democratic candidates.

“I’m happy I spent nine months doing it. It was one heck of an experience. I tried it. I’ve never been a candidate before, and I hope I did a good job and I did politicians right.”

Ms. Toomey went on to call campaigning one of the hardest things she’s done, alongside the bar exam, because of the time commitment.

“I wish I was 25,” Ms. Toomey said with a laugh. “I’m not. And I work full-time. If I don’t work I don’t get paid.”

She said she spent most of the campaign educating people about the office.

“Nobody’s run for this seat,” said Ms. Toomey, who during the campaign said she was more qualified for the position because of her background as a practicing attorney. “It hasn’t been open 40 years, nor has Tony had an opponent. It was either left blank or I think they marked off the one person on the list.”

The register of deeds job is a vestige of county government and paid a salary of $129,000 in 2017.

Meanwhile, the 32-year-old Ms. Campanale decided not to seek a third term to the state House of Representatives.

Ms. Campanale was tearful as she thanked her supporters at Eller’s Restaurant in Leicester, telling them how special they were to her.

Ms. Campanale defeated another departing state representative, Kevin Kuros, in her party’s primary.