Massachusetts voters selected Democratic Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA) to replace John Kerry in the United States Senate in a special election on Tuesday. Markey beat Gabriel Gomez, his Republican challenger, by a tighter than expected 8 point margin, 54% to 46% with 90% of the precincts reporting.
The Associated Press called the race for Markey at 9:15 pm Tuesday evening.
Markey outspent Gomez by almost 3 to 1, and spent most of the $8 million he raised on negative ads attacking his opponent. Gomez was only able to raise an estimated $3 million. (Amounts as reported to the Federal Election Commission by June 5).
Gomez, who followed the moderate establishment policies of the Romney consultants who ran his campaign, failed to ignite the type of Tea Party grassroots passion that pushed Republican Scott Brown to victory in the January 2010 special election in which he defeated Democrat Martha Coakley.
Markey, in contrast, had the full support of the Democratic establishment and the massive get-out-the-vote infrastructure that helped Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) beat Scott Brown in the 2012 general election for Massachusetts’ other seat in the United States Senate.