Democratic Congressman Edward Markey and Republican former Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez swept to victory in their party primaries on Tuesday, setting up a race between a 36-year veteran of Washington politics and a political newcomer for the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by John Kerry.
Markey, of Malden, defeated fellow U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, of South Boston, in the Democratic primary while Gomez, a Cohasset businessman, bested former U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan and state Rep. Daniel Winslow in the GOP primary, according to unofficial returns. The special election is scheduled for June 25.
The statewide results parallel the choices of Gloucester voters Tuesday as well.
According to the City Clerk’s office, Markey got the nod in Gloucester by 1,592 votes to Lynch’s 992 — winning by 61 to 38 percent — while on the Republican side, Gloucester voters also backed Gomez over Sullivan and Winslow. Gomez rang up 486 votes, or 48.6 percent of the GOP total locally, to Sullivan’s 202 votes and Winslow’s 97.
Just 3,377 of Gloucester’s 20,849 voters went to the polls, a turnout of 16.2 percent, yet that was a better turnout than in many other communities across the state.
Results from Cape Ann’s towns were not available as of press time Tuesday night.
The race to fill the seat Kerry left to become U.S. secretary of state has been overshadowed by the deadly Boston Marathon bombing, and the candidates had to temporarily suspend their campaigns.
Even before the April 15 bombing, the campaign had failed to capture the attention of voters compared with the 2010 special election following the death of longtime Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy. Former Republican Sen. Scott Brown won the seat, surprising Democrats, but was ousted last year in another high-profile race by Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren.
Markey, 66, led all the other candidates in fundraising and had won the backing early on of Kerry and a large segment of the Democratic establishment, compared to Lynch, a conservative, self-described “pro-life” Democrat who was dogged in part by his decision to vote against President Barack Obama’s 2010 health care law.