SPENCER, Mass. – Republican state Rep. Peter Durant won the special election for the Worcester & Hampshire state Senate district. He defeated Democratic state Rep. Jonathan Zlotnik.

Durant flipped the seat for the Republicans, replacing Democrat Anne Gobi, who took a position with the Healey-Driscoll administration earlier this year.

Durant had the support of Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis, one of the region’s most prominent Republicans, and carried many of the towns surrounding Worcester, including Holden, Leicester and Spencer. He said he’s thankful for the support and is excited for the new job.

“We’re just overwhelmed, overwhelmed with gratitude with just the fact that we were able to win this district in such a convincing way,” Durant said. “It really shows that the people have wanted change that they want to bring some balance to Beacon Hill.

“We kind of knew all along that the towns were going to be the key to this race and we were right. They want to have that statement that says, ‘we’re important, the issues that we believe in matter.’ And those are the statements that they’re making.”

Durant has served in the state House of Representatives since 2011, representing the 6th Worcester District.