Democrat wins US Senate election

2013-06-26 13:04
Democratic US Representative Edward Markey speaks to supporters at his campaign party in Boston. (Elise Amendola, AP)

Democratic US Representative Edward Markey speaks to supporters at his campaign party in Boston. (Elise Amendola, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Boston — Longtime Democratic US Representative Edward Markey defeated Republican political newcomer Gabriel Gomez in a special election on Tuesday for the state's US Senate seat long held by John Kerry.

Markey, aged 66, won the early backing of Kerry and much of the state's Democratic political establishment, which was set on avoiding a repeat of the stunning loss it suffered three years ago, when Republican state Senator Scott Brown upset Democratic state Attorney General Martha Coakley in the election to replace the late Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy.

Gomez, a 47-year-old businessman and former Navy Seal, positioned himself as a moderate and Washington outsider who would challenge partisan gridlock, contrasting himself with Markey, who was first elected to the US House of Representatives in 1976.

Markey defeated Gomez by a margin of 55% to 45%. His victory does not change the balance of power in the Senate since Governor Deval Patrick had appointed a Democrat to fill the seat for several months until the special election. There are currently 52 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the majority in the 100-seat Senate.

Tuesday's contest served as a reminder that President Barack Obama has vowed to play a more aggressive political role for his party through next year's mid-term elections with huge stakes for his legacy and final-term agenda. Democrats face several competitive Senate contests in less-friendly terrain in 2014, when their grip on the Senate majority will be tested.

The White House, led by Obama himself, invested heavily in the Massachusetts' election, fuelled largely by widespread fear of another Brown-like surprise.

Moral victory

"The people of Massachusetts can be proud that they have another strong leader fighting for them in the Senate, and people across the country will benefit from Ed's talent and integrity," Obama said in a statement on Tuesday night.

Republicans claimed a moral victory of sorts, having forced Democrats to deploy their biggest political stars in an election in which Markey enjoyed significant advantages in Democrat-friendly Massachusetts. Markey's victory follows personal visits by Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and former President Bill Clinton.

Markey, who declared victory two hours after the polls closed, ticked off a slew of legislative priorities. He said he wanted to help spark a "green energy revolution", protect seniors, boost job growth in Massachusetts and ensure young people can attend college without shouldering enormous debt.

Gomez said he called Markey to congratulate him and wished him "nothing but the best". He said he'd waged the campaign with honour and integrity but was heavily outspent by Democrats in the five-month election.

"Not every fight is a fair fight," Gomez said in his concession speech. "Sometimes you face overpowering force. We were massively overspent. We went up against literally the whole national Democratic Party. And all its allies."

Markey outspent Gomez throughout the race, and Republicans were unable to match a well-oiled Democratic field organisation in an election that saw relatively light turnout in much of the heavily Democratic state.

Kerry left the Senate this year after being confirmed as US secretary of state. Markey will fill out the remainder of Kerry's term, which expires in January 2015, meaning that another Senate election will be held a year from November.

Though Markey has a lengthy career in Congress, he will become the state's junior senator to Elizabeth Warren, who has been in office less than six months after defeating Brown in November.

Read more on:    john kerry  |  barack obama  |  us

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Man scores date with tennis superstar after Twitter bet

It’s a modern day Cinderella story, but one American man took ‘shoot your shot’ seriously in 2017.


You won't want to miss...

6 myths about male cancer
Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.