Republican state Senator Scott Brown won the election to fill the late Senator Ted Kennedy’s seat yesterday over Democratic nominee state Attorney General Martha Coakley. According to CNN, Brown received 52 percent of the vote, Coakley received 47 percent, and Independent Joseph Kennedy (no relation to Ted Kennedy) received 1 percent with 99 percent of precincts reporting. Many had hoped that Coakley, who is currently the only woman elected to statewide office in Massachusetts, would have been the first woman to represent the state in the US Senate. A number of polls showed the race tightening dramatically as the special election approached. Massachusetts has not elected a Republican US Senator since 1972. Coakley was widely expected to win the seat after she won the Democratic party’s nomination in December. Scott Brown voted 96% with the Republican leadership while in the State Senate. He claims to be for Roe v. Wade, but supports the Stupak-Pitts amendment to Health Care Reform. He also supports the Defense of Marriage Amendment (DOMA). Coakley was endorsed by the Feminist Majority, NOW, Planned Parenthood Massachusetts, EMILY’s List, and a host of other progressive organizations. She has a feminist track record on reproductive rights, LGBT equality, and economic fairness. In the Massachusetts race, she was the only candidate to stand up for reproductive rights during the ongoing national health reform debate. Coakley also filed landmark litigation challenging the Defense of Marriage Act and is in support of same sex marriage. As a prosecutor, she was a pioneer in creating programs to protect survivors of domestic violence.