Markey, Gomez win Senate special election primaries

Democrat Ed Markey (L) and Republican Gabriel Gomez will face off in the June 25 U.S. Senate special election.
Democrat Ed Markey (L) and Republican Gabriel Gomez will face off in the June 25 U.S. Senate special election.

A Democratic Massachusetts lawmaker who has spent more than three decades in Congress will face off against a Republican who is a political novice and former Navy SEAL in the race to fill the state’s open U.S. Senate seat.

Primary voters on Tuesday picked Democrat Ed Markey and Republican Gabriel Gomez as their candidates in the June 25 special election, the second such race the state has seen in three years.

A Gomez victory could help Republicans move toward their goal of retaking a majority in the Senate, where they currently have 45 seats. There are 53 Democrats and two independents.

Markey was the first candidate to enter the race and polls showed him with a solid lead against all potential Republican opponents. Gomez’s result was more of a surprise as a better-known rival, former U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan, led in earlier polls.

While Democratic candidates typically enjoy a strong advantage in liberal-leaning Massachusetts, Markey and his party still have vivid memories of the state’s last special U.S. Senate election three years ago when Republican Scott Brown upset state Attorney General Martha Coakley.

“Gomez’s nomination adds an element of uncertainty,” said Peter Ubertaccio, a professor of political science at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts. “He’s a newcomer who has pulled off a very interesting victory and has money, and that is going to add an element of unpredictability to the general election.”

THE BATTLE BEGINS

The two nominees immediately turned their fire one another.

Markey told a crowd of cheering supporters that if elected to the Senate he would continue to stand up for hot-button liberal issues including gun control and access to abortion, and sought to tie his rival to the national Republican Party.

“The Republican Super PACs see this election as their first shot at stopping President (Barack) Obama’s agenda,” Markey said. “Mark my words, these outside special interests are going to march right into Massachusetts beginning tomorrow morning.”

Gomez, meanwhile, portrayed himself as more independent, saying he supported term limits for elected officials.

“If you’re looking for an independent voice, a new kind of Republican, take a look at our campaign,” Gomez said.

Turnout was light in an off-cycle election that came a little more than two weeks after a bombing attack at the Boston Marathon that caused all five candidates to pause their campaigns and knocked the election off the front pages of local papers.

Markey was first elected to the House in 1976. He is ranking member of the chamber’s Natural Resources Committee and outspoken on environmental issues.

Born of Colombian immigrants, Gomez’s first language was Spanish. He entered the military after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and became a pilot before entering SEAL training. After leaving the Navy in 1996, he went on to graduate from Harvard Business School and joined private equity firm Advent International.

The Senate special election was triggered when John Kerry became the U.S. Secretary of State. Democrat Kerry had served as U.S. Senator from Massachusetts since 1985.

Markey bested fellow Democratic Representative Stephen Lynch, while Gomez faced State Representative Daniel Winslow, as well as Sullivan.

Gomez drew criticism from his primary rivals for having written a letter to the state’s Democratic Governor Deval Patrick, asking to be appointed to the seat on an interim basis.

Patrick instead tapped his former chief of staff, William Cowan, who serves as interim senator and did not enter the race.

The winner of the June vote will serve alongside the state’s current senior Senator, Democrat Elizabeth Warren, who last year unseated Brown.

Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBos



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.