The race for Suffolk District Attorney has been filled with mud-slinging and controversy for both candidates, and it had still not been called late Tuesday night.
Incumbent Kevin Hayden and Boston City Councilor Ricardo Arroyo have been sparring in recent weeks, with discussions surrounding Arroyo's assault allegations taking over much of the narrative surrounding Tuesday's primary.
With 95% of precincts reporting as of 5 a.m. Wednesday, Hayden held an 8-point lead, receiving 54% of the vote to Arroyo's 46%.
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Shortly before midnight, Hayden claimed victory in the race.
"We did it," Hayden shouted to a crowd of his supporters.
Arroyo, for his part, said around that time he still believed the votes that remained uncounted could swing the race in his favor.
"I didn't write a speech for 'I'm still waiting for results,'" Arroyo joked. "I wrote one for losing and I wrote one for winning, I didn't write one for 'we're still counting.'"
Hayden voted before 8 a.m. at a polling location in West Roxbury, telling NBC10 Boston he would not comment on Arroyo's accusation that he leaked documents from the sexual assault investigation.
"We're feeling great," Hayden said Tuesday morning. "This is a day for the voters. We're fired up and ready to go despite the rain. I think everyone's excited. Let's finish this day and get everyone to vote."
According to analysts, both Hayden and Arroyo have their reputations on the line during this race.
"I think both of them have a stain on their reputations," Democratic political analyst Jacquetta Van Zandt said. "I think both of them will have a stain on their legacy from this race… and I think the other conversation that we are not having is we are not talking about the women who are standing with Ricardo Arroyo, who say believe women. So it’s very divisive. This race has divided the city just as the Boston mayoral race did."
Hayden has been doing damage control over allegations that he got involved in an investigation into an off-duty MBTA police officer, who allegedly pulled his gun on a driver after a traffic incident, then falsified police reports to cover it up.
Arroyo, meanwhile, has spent most of his time lately defending himself against sexual assault allegations from when he was a teenager. The Arroyo campaign said documents released Friday "prove that both the Suffolk County District Attorney's office and the Boston Police Department reviewed allegations 17-years ago against him and determined them to be unfounded."
"Nothing in the file suggests or indicated that the allegations were unfounded. Also, nothing in the file questions the validity of the victim's statements," his opponent Hayden argued back in a statement.
Arroyo's campaign first released several pages of documents; the city released the full set of documents later Friday. They included the pages shared by the Arroyo campaign, one of which notes that a member of the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office concluded by January 2006 that "there was no crime committed." Citing that finding, police determined the case was unfounded on July 21, 2006.
The full document also includes a page that appeared to contradict Arroyo's claim, made at a news conference Aug. 24, that he had never been aware he was the subject of a police investigation.
A case update from 2005 indicated that Arroyo, now a Boston city councilor, told detectives over the phone he'd been informed of the allegation. Earlier in the day, his mother had told the investigators that Arroyo "had been upset when informed by the school of the accusation," one detective wrote.
In an interview with NBC10 Boston, Arroyo said he didn't remember speaking with an officer because he was going through a very traumatic time in high school.
Arroyo was stripped of his City Council leadership positions following a Boston Globe report outlining separate allegations from 2005 and 2007. While he initially retained key endorsements in the district attorney's race, he lost them in droves Wednesday — a day after his accuser in the 2005 case, a high school classmate, spoke anonymously to the Globe.
She said that how Arroyo reacted to the initial report of her alleged assault made her "sick to my stomach." The woman has not been publicly identified.
Arroyo is set to cast his ballot at 1 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.