Crocker defeats challenger in 2nd Barnstable District

A Cape Cod Times article written by Kristen Young on November 6, 2018 shares the news of Representative Crocker's re-election to a second term in the state legislature.

Crocker defeats challenger in 2nd Barnstable District

HYANNIS — Voters have returned Republican William Crocker to his seat as state representative for the 2nd Barnstable District for a second term.

Crocker, from Centerville, defeated Democratic challenger Paul Cusack, of Osterville, by 784 votes, earning 52.1 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s election compared with Cusack’s 47.9 percent.

The district comprises 10 precincts in Barnstable and two in Yarmouth.

Just after 9 p.m. Tuesday, Crocker stood in front of a gathering of supporters at Barnstable Brewing and announced that he had received a phone call from Cusack conceding the race.

As applause erupted, Crocker thanked his supporters, who he dubbed “team Crocker.”

“We fought this battle on a number of fronts,” he said. “We went up against a candidate who had experience, who had a Rolodex, who had friends all around the country. This truly, if you think about it, was not a state (representative) race, but was more like a U.S. Senate race because of what we had to do.”

Cusack, who works in Cotuit as a shellfisherman, previously served five years as a U.S. Army Ranger, including four deployments in Afghanistan. He also worked as an aide to former Vice President Al Gore and is a recipient of the Soldier’s Medal — the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. Army for valor off the battlefield — for his actions after the explosions at the 2013 Boston Marathon.

Crocker’s campaign manager and wife, Judy Crocker, credited the win to the amount of outreach done by her husband and his supporters — and also to Crocker’s hometown roots.

“We contacted and touched every voter many, many many times.” she said. “I truly believe that people in Barnstable and Yarmouth wanted someone who knows this community, and that’s why they re-elected Will Crocker.”

Crocker, a former broadcast journalist and a teacher at the Bristol County House of Correction, previously served one term as a Barnstable town councilor. His campaign emphasized his family’s long history on Cape Cod — which dates back to the 1630s — and the fact Crocker is a homeowner in Barnstable, while taking aim at Cusack for being a relative newcomer who moved to Cape Cod in 2017 and does not own a home in the district.

That strategy seemed to pay off on Tuesday.

Less than an hour before polls closed, Kenneth Freeman of Hyannis was the lone campaigner remaining outside of a polling station at the Hyannis Youth and Community Center. He stood in the rain holding a ‘Vote Will Crocker’ sign.

Other campaigners had left earlier in the evening, but Freeman decided to make a last effort to encourage voters to cast a ballot for the man that he described as “a good guy who’s done a lot for his constituents.”

A few miles away, Paul Neary of Cotuit was doing the same thing, standing outside a polling place in West Yarmouth, also holding a Crocker sign — along with signs for other Republican candidates.

Neary said he believed Crocker would win because of the work he’s done within the community and the efforts he made to reach voters.

Neary also had complimentary words for Cusack, calling him a good guy who’s served his country, but said he questioned Cusack’s experience.

Before Crocker announced his win, supporter Christine Greeley of West Yarmouth chatted with others at Barnstable Brewing and said she felt hopeful.

The group had done a lot of campaigning for Crocker, she said.

“You want to work hard for somebody who’s such a hard worker,” she said, adding that even though most precincts that comprise the 2nd Barnstable District come from within the town of Barnstable, Crocker always makes a point to consider Yarmouth’s needs.

Just after 9:30 p.m., Cusack confirmed that he had conceded the race.

“I congratulated him on a race well run and my hope to work with him to bring about a more prosperous and healthy Cape Cod for all,” Cusack wrote in a text message.

“Your first two years is a learning experience,” he said. “I want to now be able to apply what I have learned to be able to move the 2nd Barnstable District further along.”

He also plans to “bring across the finish line,” an initiative he began in the spring, which would develop a voluntary funding source for opiate preventative programs in schools, he said.

But he’ll continue working the way he has for the past two years, he told supporters.

“I will continue to be the person who you first elected,” he said. “The person who’s accessible...the person who’s just a phone call away for all of your issues.”

Read the article here.