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Charlie Baker Toasts Victory, Begins Transition To Governor

BOSTON (CBS) - Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Governor-elect Charlie Baker held their first meeting Wednesday afternoon, beginning the transition to a Baker administration in January.

Baker and Patrick, rivals in 2010, spoke with reporters at the State House brushing off suggestions of any animosity from the 2014 campaign where Patrick endorsed fellow Democrat Martha Coakley.

"The campaign's over," Patrick said.

When WBZ-TV's Beth Germano asked them what Patrick's number one piece of advice was, Patrick said, "have fun."

"Find parts of the job that are fun and keep going back to those," he said.

Baker held his first news conference since the election earlier in the afternoon, about an hour after Coakley conceded defeat in one of the closest state elections in recent history.

Related: Keller: What We Learned From Election Results

By noon, 100-percent of the precincts had reported results and Baker had officially won by just 40,040 votes.

Check: Governor's race results

"It was a really close race," Baker told reporters.  "I think the fact that the Coakley campaign wanted to wait until the votes were in," he said, "I thought that was a perfectly reasonable decision for them to make."

Baker said he expects the transition to be "seamless."

Related: Keller @ Large: Baker's Struggles

The governor-elect said he also has calls out to all members of the legislative leadership on Beacon Hill.

Baker now wants to find "some really talented people who want to serve in the administration."

"Goal number one is hiring a great team," Baker said, as his Lieutenant Governor-elect Karyn Polito stood by his side.

Baker thanked the voters for giving him the opportunity four years after losing to Patrick.

"It's the honor of a lifetime and something that I will cherish every single day," he said.

Charlie Baker Eire Pub
Charlie Baker raises a pint at Eire Pub in Dorchester. (WBZ-TV)

Later Wednesday, Baker raised a pint of beer at a signature Dorchester location.

Like many of his political predecessors, Baker celebrated his election win at Eire Pub, where he toasted supporters like bar patron Ed Donovan, who bought a beer for the governor-elect.

"Charlie talked from the heart, and that's what I love about him," said Donovan.

Inauguration Day for Baker is Thursday, January 8, 2015.



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