For the second time in the span of a few years, Massachusetts voters will have the opportunity to elect a United State Senator in a special election. Today, Tuesday, April 30, is the primary election for the Senate seat that was vacated by John Kerry when he became Secretary of State.
There are contests on both the Republican and Democratic sides of the ballot. The two Democrats are our own Congressman Edward J. Markey and Congressman Stephen Lynch of South Boston. The Republican ballot features three candidates, former U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan, State Rep. Daniel Winslow, and Gabriel Gomez, a Cohasset businessman and former U.S. Navy SEAL.
When voters elected Scott Brown to fill the unexpired term of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy three years ago, voters decided to go with the proverbial “new face,” though Brown had an unproven and largely unknown track record. The fact that the same voters by a substantial margin last November tossed Brown out of his Senate seat was the best evidence that the voters themselves realized their folly in choosing someone who, it turned out, stood against the interests of Massachusetts residents on many important issues.
However, in Tuesday’s primary election, Democratic voters have a candidate in our Congressman, Ed Markey, whose voting record speaks for itself. Congressman Markey has served in the U.S. House for 37 years, making him currently the eighth-longest serving Congressman. For all of that time period, there has been no one on Capitol Hill who has stood taller on the issues that matter most to average Americans, regardless of age, race, or gender.
Indeed, we think it is fair to say that there is no one in public life today who is more in the mainstream of Massachusetts voters on issues ranging from sensible gun control, to a woman’s right to choose, to preserving Medicare and Social Security, to fairness on tax issues, to improving our nation’s infrastructure, to regulation of the giant banks and corporations than Ed Markey. In short, he represents OUR vision of America and, more importantly, has shown over the course of his decades of service that he is willing to stand up for those beliefs that we in Massachusetts hold dear.
Massachusetts voters realized, after electing Scott Brown, how important their vote can be in a U.S. Senate where partisan politics is pervasive and how just one Senator can be an obstructionist to the policies of the majority.
When Ed Markey first ran for Congress as a young State Representative in 1976, he had bucked the political establishment at the time under the Speakership of Tom McGee, who moved Markey’s desk from his office to a corridor in the basement of the State House to show Markey “who was boss.” Ed’s famous campaign slogan for Congress was, “They can tell me where to sit, but they can’t tell me where to stand.”
So to paraphrase that slogan 37 years later: We know where Ed Markey stands and (as opposed to all of the other candidates for the Senate seat) we like where he stands for Massachusetts.
We urge all of our readers to take the time to vote Tuesday. To put it simply, whom we send to the U.S. Senate really is a big deal.