News reports from the final debate between Democrat Ed Markey and Republican Gabriel Gomez conclude that Gomez, a first-time candidate and self-styled "new kind of Republican," delivered a strong performance. With just days left in the campaign before the June 25 special election for Senate, Gomez has trailed Markey, a 37-year veteran of the House, in every single poll. Markey currently leads by average of more than 9 points.
But in the debate Tuesday night, Gomez hit Markey hard on the Democrat's long Washington tenure, a running theme in the Republican's campaign. Here's an excerpt from the Boston Globe's report:
Gomez, the Republican nominee, is trailing in the polls and in need of a jolt to shake up the race. He all but pleaded with voters to give him a shot at serving the remainder of John F. Kerry’s Senate term.
“I ask you to give me 17 months, and see if I’ve kept my word,” he said in his closing statement. “And if I have, then you can reelect me. And if I haven’t, then vote me out.”
He repeatedly argued that electing his Democratic rival to the Senate, after 37 years in the House, would only continue the gridlock in Washington.
“Nothing’s going to change if Mr. Markey wins this election,” Gomez said. “We’re going to have the same D.C. down there and the same dysfunction. The only thing we’re going to have is him moving from one building to the next.”
As Joanna Weiss, a Globe columnist, put it, "when Gomez says, “Give me 17 months” — and promises to fix all of Washington in that time — a part of you wants to dare him to try."
The Gomez campaign released a web video of the Republican's best moments in the debate: