"He's very bipartisan, and he's voted on the issues, not just by the party," Connell said.
Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin said mostly anecdotal reports around the state pointed to a strong turnout, with long lines at some polling places. He said he had received relatively few reports of major voting problems and most had been resolved.
Voters said yes to ballot Question 3, allowing marijuana to be used medically for people with cancer, AIDS, Lou Gehrig's Disease and several other conditions. The law would create nonprofit medical marijuana treatment centers regulated by the state Department of Public Health.
Also approved was Question 1, which requires automakers to share diagnostic and repair information with independent mechanics. The Legislature approved a compromise version of "Right to Repair" in July, but it was too late to remove the question from the ballot.
A spokesman for the proponents of Question 2, the so-called "Death with Dignity Act," said in a statement early Wednesday that they had fallen short.
"We are pleased that the majority of voters agree that a physician's role is to heal and comfort, not to aid in death," said Richard Aghababian, president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, which opposed the question.
The fiercest congressional contest was in the 6th District, on Boston's North Shore, where Tisei was trying to unseat Tierney, an eight-term Democrat. Tierney's wife, Patrice, had been sentenced to 30 days in prison last year for helping one of her two brothers who had been implicated in the gambling ring file false tax returns.
Tierney claimed victory early Wednesday, but Tisei initially refused to concede and his campaign said it was examining possible voting irregularities. The Republican conceded the race later in the day, while saying he still had concerns about possible voting problems in the district.
Kennedy was the first member of his famous political family to seek public office. A former prosecutor, he tapped into his family's name and connections to raise more than $4 million for the race and will take the seat now held by the retiring Democratic Rep. Barney Frank in the district stretching from the western Boston suburbs to southeastern Massachusetts.
Democratic incumbents carried the day in the state's other House races.
Rep. Edward Markey, the dean of the state's congressional delegation, defeated Republican Tom Tierney in the 5th district; Rep. Niki Tsongas bested Jon Golnick in the 3rd district; freshman Rep. William Keating defeated Christopher Sheldon in the 9th district; Rep. Stephen Lynch won over Republican Joe Selvaggi in the 8th district; and Rep. Michael Capuano won over independent Karla Romero in the 7th District.
Rep. Richard Neal in the 1st District and Rep. James McGovern in the 2nd District were unopposed Tuesday.