Massachusetts Special Election Candidates: Meet the Top Contenders in Each Party

On Tuesday, June 25, Massachusetts will once again hold a special election to fill the senate seat left vacant by John Kerry’s appointment to Obama’s cabinet as Secretary of State.

Unlike Scott Brown’s dramatic victory in the 2010 Massachusetts special election, which Republicans hoped was a referendum on Barack Obama’s policies and that disrupted the Democrats' filibuster-proof stature, this election will likely leave circumstances in the federal government unchanged — a clear exception of which is the prominent former Senator John Kerry’s absence.

Recent polling indicates that Democrats will likely maintain control of the seat and that Congressman Ed Markey will be the man to do it. There remain, however, four other candidates in the race, three of whom are Republicans.

Below are the top contenders, in order of quantitative likelihood of election, who hope to fill John Kerrys Senate seat:

1. Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.):

Currently the ranking member of the House's Natural Resources Committee, Congressman Markey is a crusader for environmental responsibility and sustainability as well as energy independence. A former member of the U.S. Army, Markey has resided in Congress since 1976. He enjoys an average polling lead of 16.7% against his Democratic adversary and an even broader margin over each of his Republican adversaries.

2. Congressman Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.):

Former president of an iron workers-union and a member of the Massachusetts state congress and state senate, Lynch has a long history in public service. The Congressman is a current member of the House Committee of Oversight and Government reform. Although polling indicates he would likely defeat any Republican challenger handily, he faces a daunting polling deficit for the Democratic nomination

3. Gabriel Gomez (R-Mass.):

Mr. Gabriel Gomez began his career as a pilot in the U.S. Navy, eventually becoming a Navy SEAL as a class leader. Upon leaving the Navy in 1996, Gomez entered the private sector into investment firm Advent International. He currently serves as president of the Navy SEAL Foundation of New England. Leading the most recent Republican primary poll by 6%, Gomez trails his likely general election opponent — Ed Markey — by 17.7 points.

4. Mike Sullivan (R-Mass.):

Also having spent much of his life in public service, Sullivan is a former member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, former Plymouth County district attorney, and the former director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. He is currently a partner at Aschcroft-Sullivan, an individual and corporate advising firm. Although he is in competitive distance with his Republican adversaries, either of the Democratic challengers will pose an issue to his Senate bid.

5. Daniel Winslow (R-Mass.):

Winslow, unlikely to reach the general election, also carries with him an impressive background. He has served as a senior fellow at the Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University, has been a trial judge to the Massachusetts District Court and now works in the private sector.