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In Massachusetts Senate debate, time for Gomez to come out swinging

Both Rep. Edward Markey and Gabriel Gomez need to break stereotypes in Wednesday's debate. But with Gomez behind, he has more work to do to win the Massachusetts Senate seat.

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Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Ed Markey (l.) and Republican Gabriel Gomez will face each other in a debate Wednesday night. They are candidates for US Senate in the June special election being held to fill the seat vacated when John Kerry was appointed as secretary of State.

AP/File

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As the candidates in the special election to fill John Kerry’s Senate seat in Massachusetts go head-to-head in their first televised debate Wednesday night, both will be looking to keep the reputations they’ve developed in their early weeks on the campaign trail from fossilizing in voters’ minds.

For Rep. Edward Markey, a stiff and slightly awkward 18-term congressman, that will mean showing that he’s not just a stock character Massachusetts Democrat who expects to sweep to victory on the strength of the party’s massive demographic advantage. Instead, he’ll try to prove to voters that he wants this seat, and perhaps more importantly, that he’s earned it.

On the other hand, for Republican Gabriel Gomez, a charming businessman and former Navy SEAL but political novice, the goal will be to make himself look senatorial: informed, articulate, and confrontation-ready.

 

And there’s an added challenge. The two men will have to do all this on a sunny June evening – hardly prime political season in Massachusetts – with home games by both the Red Sox and the Bruins only a channel flip away. 

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