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(NECN: Alison King, Boston) - Marty Walsh had already made one campaign stop when he arrived at his Dorchester polling place with his longtime girlfriend Laurie Higgins to vote for himself Tuesday morning.
"It was strange because I voted and then I kind of, before I put it in the box, I looked at it again, just to, you know - it's surreal. People are used to seeing the Mayor's name for so long. Pretty much a lot of people in the city grew up with the Mayor as the mayor, but it's exciting," Walsh says.
Walsh got in to the Boston mayoral race six months ago, and was one of 12 candidates. He was instant member of the top tier because of his constituency he worked for for 16 years as a state representative and huge support from labor. Walsh, the son of a union member, spent two decades working for the unions.
"The advantage I do have today is my field. We have 3,000 people on the ground who are very excited about this campaign. We're working extremely hard, so I'm excited about that. They're excited. We had a rally last night. People are just very excited. I saw kids I grew up with that came back to be there last night. It was incredible," Walsh said.
In recent weeks, Walsh's opponent, John Connolly, has accused him of having "the machine behind him" - the political establishment and special interests who have spent millions of dollars supporting Walsh.
"My machine is made up of moms of Boston public school kids. My machine is made up of senior citizens. My machine is made up of people in Roxbury and Dorchester, Mattapan and East Boston, all over the city of Boston," Walsh says.