After serving 37 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, Democratic Congressman Edward Markey is headed for the U.S. Senate, at least for the next 17 months. The Malden liberal beat Republican challenger Gabriel Gomez in yesterday’s special election, one that was marked by poor voter turnout statewide.
“I have delivered a message on gun safety, on a woman’s right to choose, on creating more jobs, and I think that message has been delivered,” Markey, 66, said last night after capturing the seat held for many years by John Kerry, who resigned to become U.S. Secretary of State.
Markey will fill out the remainder of Kerry’s term, which expires in January 2015. Another Senate election will be held a year from November.
With most of the precincts across the state reporting late last night, Markey held an 8 to 10 percentage point lead over Gomez, according to unofficial returns.
But locally, voters in most communities supported Gomez, 47, the millionaire and former Navy SEAL from Cohasset. Lawrence was the lone local community favoring Markey, 4,494 to 1,652. Only 17 percent of the voters turned out.
Methuen voters went overwhelmingly for Gomez, 3,861 to 2,530.
Shawna Amoroso, a Methuen resident who typically votes Democratic, said she voted for Gomez because he is a fresh face and she thought his opinions were centrist, and even liberal, enough to gain her support.
“He seems like a liberal Republican. I felt like I could stand with him on a lot of issues,” she said.
Markey “rubs me the wrong way,” she said. Picking up on a theme Gomez has used in his campaign, Amoroso said she thought Markey’s long time in Congress made him a creature of Washington. “He seems slimy to me,” she said. “He’s been in politics so long, and nothing ever changes.”
Even some of those who said they voted for Markey — like Kevin Gerow — said they weren't thrilled about the veteran congressman’s candidacy.