Ed Markey, the 19-term Democratic representative and dean of the Massachusetts congressional delegation, will face political newcomer Gabriel Gomez, a Republican, in next month's special election for the U.S. Senate.
In the primary elections held Tuesday, Markey handily defeated rival congressman Stephen Lynch for the Democratic nomination to succeed fellow Democrat John Kerry, who resigned from the Senate upon being confirmed for secretary of state. The 66-year-old liberal Democrat from Malden has held a significant lead in the polls over any GOP challenger.
Gomez, meanwhile, defeated fellow Republicans Michael Sullivan and Dan Winslow in a surprise primary victory that already has the Boston Globe comparing him to Scott Brown, the Republican who won a surprise victory in the 2010 special election to replace the late Ted Kennedy. Here's the Globe's Jim O'Sullivan:
Indeed, on paper, the 47-year-old Gomez can lay claim to many of the traits that helped propel Scott Brown into the US Senate: youthful-looking, camera-friendly, a military background, and barely a blip on the Democrats’ radar just months before winning the primary. Unlike Brown, he has no political experience, but his resume is arguably more muscular, with a stint in private equity and service as a US Navy SEAL.
That is stacked against the Democratic nominee, US Representative Edward J. Markey, who is 66 years old, has served in Congress since 1977, and can boast virtually no employment experience outside elected office.
The specter of a replay of 2010, when the prohibitive favorite, Martha Coakley, ran what analysts called an aloof campaign and coughed up the late Edward M. Kennedy’s US Senate seat to the long-shot Brown, is too obvious for Democrats to ignore.
Gomez has at times seemed green on the stump and tripped through a few missteps early in the campaign. But privately, Democrats say they would have vastly preferred facing Michael J. Sullivan, a former US attorney, who had led in public polling, or state Representative Daniel B. Winslow, who had trailed both his rivals.
Gomez entered the race in February with a campaign video that featured him, the son of Colombian immigrants, speaking both in English and Spanish.
Markey and Gomez will face off in the general election on June 25. The Senate seat is currently held by appointee Democrat Mo Cowan.