On Tuesday evening, longtime congressman Ed Markey handily won the Democratic primary for a special election that'll decide who fills Secretary of State John Kerry's former Senate seat. The victory wasn't any more of a surprise than the lopsided campaign which saw Markey raise nearly three times as much money as his opponent, fellow House Democrat and former ironworker Rep. Stephen Lynch. Now, everybody's head turns toward June 25 and the special election itself. The chips are stacked in Markey's favor for that one, too.
Markey's opponent is a newcomer, Gabriel Gomez, a Republican businessman with a Harvard MBA and impressive military career to boot. Gomez, who also won his primary on Tuesday grew up the son of Colombian immigrants and joined the Navy, where eventually made it onto the elite SEAL squad. (Markey is a veteran himself, but the U.S. Army Reserve isn't exactly the caliber of commitment that SEAL training is.)
With a career in private equity under his belt, Gomez is trying to present himself as the Republican of the future, and just a glance at one of latest appearances shows that he's definitely leaning hard on his history of military service. Gomez also has some national GOP bigwigs at his back, too. "Gabriel Gomez is the kind of results-oriented leader who will bring a never say die attitude and spirit of service to the Senate on behalf of the Bay State," National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Jerry Moran said recently. Meanwhile, Markey's supporters are quick to point out that Gomez opposes an assault weapons ban and embodies that undesirable, job-crushing private equity type.
This is when these special elections get fun. Everybody's going to come out of the woodwork to prop up their favorite candidate, and what's so far been a very tame race could get a little bit saucy. With Democrats struggling to maintain their caucus edge of 45-55 in the Senate, every seat matters.