Reps battle for the Democratic nomination in Massachusetts primary election

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April 29, 2013


By Jennifer Springer

Boston, Massachusetts: In a race initially described as lackluster, the competition in the weeks leading up to the primary has heated up.[1] Voters in Massachusetts will head to the polls tomorrow to decide the Democratic and Republican nominees to fill the vacancy left by the appointment of Senator John Kerry (D) as U.S. Secretary of State. Polls will be open from 7 am until 8 pm ET.[2]

On January 30, 2013, Mo Cowan was appointed by Gov. Deval Patrick to fill the vacancy. Cowan, a Democrat who previously served as Patrick's Chief of Staff, will serve as interim Senator until voters choose Kerry's official successor in the June 25 special election.[3][4][5] On December 21, 2012, President Barack Obama announced that he was nominating Kerry to the position of Secretary of State. On January 29, 2013, the Senate confirmed Kerry's appointment by a vote of 94-3. He officially succeeded Secretary Hillary Clinton on Friday, Feb 1.[6][7]

Rep. Ed Markey is seen as the front-runner in the race, with virtually all the Democratic establishment lending support in his campaign for the nomination against Rep. Stephen Lynch.[8] Republican candidates include former Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez, former U.S. attorney Michael Sullivan, and state Rep. Daniel Winslow.[8] Polling has shown Gomez taking a narrow lead over Sullivan.[8][9]

After suspending the campaigns in the wake of the Boston tragedy, including halting campaigning and removing scheduled television ads, the increasingly intense battle resumed on April 22nd in the first debate since the attack.[2][8] The tense debate turned to national security, with Lynch attacking Markey for opposing a port security bill and creation of a joint terrorism task force.[8] The race previously was dominated more by domestic matters and the candidates' biographies.[2]

Between early April and the final weekend before the April 30th primary, spending by outside groups grew to $2.2 million.[10] According to filings of campaign finance records, the League of Conservation Voters has spent nearly $831,000 to back Markey, the most of any group.[10] NextGen Committee, which opposes the Keystone XL pipeline, also hopes to defeat Lynch and has spent more than $547,000.[10] The top group supporting Lynch is the International Association of Firefighters, which spent nearly $106,000.[10]

U.S. Rep. Edward Markey has raised about $4.8 million since jumping into the special election race.[11][12] Markey's Democratic rival, fellow U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, reported raising approximately $1.5 million since entering the race in late January, adding to the $745,000 left over from his last House race.[11]

Of the three Republicans seeking the nomination — former U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan, state Rep. Daniel Winslow and businessman Gabriel Gomez — Gomez reported raising the most, nearly $1.2 million, although that includes $600,000 he loaned his campaign.[11] He also reported having $499,743 left in his account as of April 10, 2013.[11] Sullivan reported raising $174,498, with $96,369 cash on hand.[11] Winslow reported raising $394,549, with $158,550 in personal donations.[11] He had $142,243 cash on hand.[11]

The winners of the nominations will face off in the general election scheduled for June 25, 2013.[13]

See also

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