Markey, Forry push forward to Capitol Hill and State House
Last week’s state special elections threw the national spotlight on the upcoming race between U.S. Rep. Ed Markey and political newcomer Gabriel Gomez, the former Navy Seal, businessman and the state’s first Latino candidate for U.S. Senate.
The June 25 election will determine who replaces Sen. John Kerry, who vacated his seat to become Secretary of State.
Pundits are likening this race to the special election three years ago to replace Sen. Ted Kennedy between Martha Coakley and Scott Brown, who at the time was a little-known state senator from Wrentham. Brown won handily and became a national GOP darling. But he lost the seat to Elizabeth Warren last year.
Gomez, 47, emerged from relative obscurity to win last week’s low-turnout, three-way Republican primary. Gomez, the son of Colombian immigrants who speaks fluent Spanish and is considered a moderate Republican, supports gay marriage and personally opposes abortion, but hasn’t advocated overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that established a nationwide right to abortion.
As the senior member of the all-democratic congressional delegation, Markey, 66, was first elected in 1976 and is poised to take advantage of the seemingly insurmountable numbers that Democrats hold over Republicans in one of the nation’s bluest states.
Markey has already attacked Gomez for his refusal to sign a “People’s Pledge” that would help prevent outside groups from spending money in the state campaign. “I’m going to keep pressuring him,” Markey said at a Monday press conference.
For his part, Gomez is not shying away from responding in kind.
“My opponent is effectively talking about everything but the economy and running a negative campaign,” Gomez told FOX News Channel host Neil Cavuto on Monday.
Though the national spotlight was on the upcoming Senate race, another election marked the end of a long-enduring legacy of the so-called “Southie seat,” held by white Irish-American men from South Boston.
State Rep. Nick Collins finally conceded the First Suffolk Senate District election to state Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry, a Haitian American from Dorchester, after an election in which both the Boston Globe and the Associated Press called the race for Collins before the official vote was tallied.
Forry won the special democratic primary by less than 400 votes, and Collins did not call for a recount.
“While I am disappointed in the result, I am proud of the campaign that we conducted in the neighborhoods of our district,’’ Collins said in the statement. “Congratulations to our Democratic nominee Linda Dorcena Forry. I look forward to working with Linda once we get her elected in June.”
Forry now faces a political unknown, Dorchester native Joseph Anthony Ureneck, in the May 28 election.