As the Massachusetts Senate race heats up to a simmer, the two competing parties are vetting their candidates for the state’s special June election. With the state’s Democratic party coming off a large Senate win in the form of Elizabeth Warren’s victory, the state’s GOP faces an uphill battle against the Democrat’s successful electioneering machine. Because Democrats enjoy a state with no shortage of current federal officeholders to choose from, the Democratic party is able to sift through a plethora of available party candidates, finally choosing Rep. Stephen Lynch (MA’s 8th District) and Rep. Ed Markey (MA’s 5th District). While the Commonwealth’s Republicans find themselves scrambling to field a viable candidate before the June election, Democrats are sitting pretty with two distinguished options.
Although the Democratic nomination is circling around Rep. Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts’ 8th district and Rep. Markey, the Commonwealth’s Democratic brass has coalesced behind Rep. Markey over the more conservative-leaning Lynch. With the defeat of Sen. Scott Brown fresh on the minds of Massachusetts’ voters, voters will be looking for a candidate whose personal brand and voting records match up. After Sen. Scott Brown’s defeat and resultant “bqhatever” scandal, it is fair to say that voters in Massachusetts are skeptical of any candidate branding themselves as a moderate, blue-collar worker to hide their own extremist and upper class tendencies.
However, now that the Sen. Brown has removed himself from the running for the Commonwealth’s GOP nomination, the local GOP finds themselves gearing up to fight the well-oiled Democrat political machine that launched Sen. Elizabeth Warren to her current post. Two GOP-affiliated candidates have made it past the February 27th nomination deadline, one being State Rep. David Winslow of Norfolk, and the other being Gabriel Gomez, a businessman and former Navy SEAL from Cohasset.
As of this posting, neither names are recognizable in Massachusetts households. It will prove interesting to see if these low-profile GOP candidates, with Gomez releasing a statement that he will not be commenting on the campaign until after the signature deadline, will be able to solicit voters or garner name recognition outside of their local spheres of influence. Perhaps, these GOP candidates are trying to learn from former Sen. Brown’s mistake of speaking off-the-cuff on the important issues, but in order for these candidates to be successful against Markey or Lynch, these competitors will have to rise quickly to a one-name basis like the current representatives have for Massachusetts voters.