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Merrimack Valley

June 19, 2013

Markey, Gomez clash in final Senate debate

BOSTON (AP) — Republican Gabriel Gomez and Democrat Edward Markey clashed on everything from Markey’s record in Congress to the private sector and term limits in the final and often testy debate of Massachusetts’ special U.S. Senate election.

Pressed to offer more information about clients he worked for at the private equity firm Advent International, Gomez pointed to President Barack Obama, saying Obama’s pension fund from his years as an Illinois lawmaker is invested in part with the company.

“You should ask President Obama if he is happy ... with what we have done at Advent International,” Gomez said.

The White House did not immediately have a comment.

Markey said Gomez should release even more information about companies he worked with during his tenure at the firm.

“My vote record is completely transparent,” Markey said. “But with Mr. Gomez, we still don’t know who his clients are, who he worked for.”

Markey also defended his role in obtaining millions in tax dollars for a planned transformation of a polluted industrial site along the Malden River into a telecommunications center, with the promise of thousands of new jobs.

The hoped-for jobs never materialized, but Markey said the project was still a benefit to neighboring communities because it helped clean up a blighted area.

During a pointed exchange over term limits, Gomez said he told veteran Republican Sen. John McCain, who campaigned for Gomez in Boston last month, that he should leave the Senate at the end of his term.

“Mr. Gomez did not tell John McCain that this is his last term,” said Markey. “That did not happen.”

“It absolutely did happen,” said Gomez, who has proposed a two-term limit for members of the Senate and has pledged not to serve more than two full terms in Washington. He later told reporters that McCain had agreed with his call for term limits.

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