GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Opinion

June 25, 2013

Editorial: Don't sit out key Senate election

Yes, it’s summer, hardly the usual election time.

And yes, you’re probably thinking more about work or watching the Bruins tonight than about what’s on your calendar for tomorrow.

But if you haven’t already done so, be sure to commit right now to going to the polls Tuesday, because the choice you will be making is an important one for our communities, our state, and can go a long way toward charting the direction of our country over at least the next 19 months.

The choice to be made is whether longtime Congressman Ed Markey or businessman and former Navy Seal Gabriel Gomez will step into the seat formerly held by John Kerry. The winner will serve as our next U.S. senator alongside Elizabeth Warren, until Tuesday’s winner already faces a re-election run in November 2014.

It is, in fact, the state’s second such special election in a little more than three years, after Scott Brown turned back Martha Coakley in January 2010 to claim the seat long held by the late Edward M. Kennedy. And Warren’s defeat of Brown in his own re-election run last November has given Massachusetts an extraordinary round of turnover in both of its U.S. Senate positions.

But remember that the winner of Tuesday’s Markey-Gomez contest will become one of just 100 U.S. senators charged with setting the course of our nation on Capitol Hill, where gridlock has all too often remained the order of the day. And the choice as to which of these two men will take on that role is entirely up to you — if you choose to go to the polls and make your voice heard.

There’s no excuse. The regular polling places in Gloucester, Rockport, Manchester and Essex will all be open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. And if you really can’t make it, you still have until noon today to seek and obtain an absentee ballot.

Elections at any time of the year are days of important decisions. Don’t sit this one out. Be a part of this decision Tuesday — and get out and vote.

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