GOP Senate contenders agree on two-term limit in primary debate
BOSTON, Massachusetts: Less than two weeks after the candidate filing period closed for Secretary of State John Kerry's U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts, Stonehill College hosted the first GOP debate of the primary season. The March 12 debate between Daniel Winslow, Gabriel Gomez and Michael Sullivan, the three Republican candidates slated to appear on the April primary ballot, covered a range of topics including, but not limited to, headline news items like Rand Paul's drone strike filibuster and the recent sequestration.
All three candidates blamed congressional dysfunction for the $85 billion in indiscriminate spending cuts that went into effect at the beginning of the month. Their views likewise aligned on Sen. Rand Paul's (R-KY) recent marathon filibuster which divided Senate Republicans.
Finally, prompted by Gomez' assertion that senators ought to be restricted to serving two terms, Winslow, the current frontrunner according to a poll predating the debate, and Sullivan, a former U.S. Attorney, gave their word that, if elected, they would sign a pledge to cap their terms as such.
One issue where they diverged was on how to deal with undocumented immigrants. Sullivan proposed that amnesty should be granted to individuals serving in the U.S. military. By contrast, Winslow and Gomez, a former Navy SEAL, stood firmly against amnesty of any variety.
The following is a complete list of candidates who have qualified for the special election Democratic and Republican primary ballot:
- Special elections to the 113th United States Congress (2013-2014)
- United States Senate special election in Massachusetts, 2013
- The Hill, "Five candidates qualify for Massachusetts Senate primaries," February 28, 2013
- Boston Herald, "Markey leads Lynch by wide margin in new poll" accessed March 7, 2013
- The New York Times, "Senate debate introduces 3 Republicans to Massachusetts voters," March 12, 2013
- 90.0WBUR-Boston's NPR station, 3 Mass. GOP Senate Hopefuls Spar In 1st Debate," March 13, 2013
- Boston.com, "Secretary of state to set Senate special election date of June 25," January 28, 2013
- The Boston Globe, "William ‘Mo’ Cowan to be interim US senator," January 30, 2013
- Boston Globe, "Five candidates submit required number of signatures for special election for US Senate," accessed February 27, 2013
- Sentinelandenterprise.com, "Lynch challenges Markey for Senate seat," February 1, 2013
- Boston Globe, "State Rep. Dan Winslow ‘99 percent’ sure he will run for US Senate," February 5, 2013
- The Hill" "Gomez officially announces bid for Mass. Senate seat," February 12, 2013
- Fox 25, MyFoxBoston, "Sullivan: I will run in special election as long as I get 10K signatures," February 19, 2013