MA GOP Fight For Senate Seat

By Tessa Roy 3-27-2013 

WEBN Staff Photo

WEBN Staff Photo

The race for former Senator John Kerry’s seat heated up tonight as the three GOP candidates fought to become their party’s nominee.

Former U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan, State Representative Dan Winslow, and businessman Gabriel Gomez went head-to-head for half an hour.  But this debate was much different from the hostile Brown/Warren debates Massachusetts got used to seeing. The candidates seemed to agree on most of the issues discussed in the debate, and gave similar, complimentary responses to questions.

Gomez even claimed, “I’m not here to tear anybody down.”

One especially significant point of the debate was when the men were asked to give their views on the Defense of Marriage Act, a fitting question considering the DOMA has been at the U.S. Supreme Court this week. All three men supported the repeal of the controversial Act, which many would consider a surprising move to be made by Republicans.

Social Security and Medicare were also areas about which the candidates shared opinions. “Washington isn’t working” when it comes to the programs, claimed Winslow. Gomez and Sullivan backed him up, agreeing the promises made to those participating in the programs needed to be kept.

The Affordable Care Act, however, was not as agreeable a topic. Gomez limited his criticism and said although the idea behind the act was positive, President Obama did not carry it out the right way.

Winslow begged to differ, slamming the Affordable Care Act as “bad for America.” Winslow also offered one of the only attacks on the Democratic counterparts. “It’s better one of us than one of them,” he said when asked who would be elected.

The MA Senate primary is April 30 while the general election is June 25.  Until then Mo Cowan will serve as the Commonwealth’s interim senator.

The two Democratic candidates, Rep. Ed Markey and Rep. Stephen Lynch, were less agreeable with each other than were the Republicans. The two traded barbs over the Affordable Care Act, abortion, and the Wall Street bailouts.

“My vote for Obamacare was one of my proudest votes,” said Markey. Lynch retaliated, arguing Obamacare is flawed and needed to be “fixed.”

Abortion was another hot point of the debate. Markey prided himself on being virulently pro-choice, and criticized Lynch for being pro-choice. However, Lynch was able to fight back, accusing Markey of supporting the big banks over the American people in the Wall Street bailouts.

The Democrats did have civil words for each other. Markey civilly asked Lynch his position on veterans affairs. “You are a gentleman for asking,” Lynch responded, answering more funding was needed to assist veterans and to combat PTSD. Markey praised this answer, and agreed.

The Senate primary is set for late June. In the meantime, the five candidates will continue to campaign and debate to become their party’s nominee.