COHASSET, Mass. (WWLP) - Businessman and former Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez has won the Republican nomination for Massachusetts' special U.S. Senate election.
With 73% of precincts reporting just after 9:30 P.M., Gomez had 51% of the vote, a strong lead over former U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan, who had 36% of the vote, and State Rep. Daniel Winslow, who received 13%. Gomez will now go on to the June 25 general election to face the Democratic nominee, Congressman Edward Markey.
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Both Markey and Gomez are hoping to serve the remainder of the term of now-Secretary of State John Kerry.
During the primary campaign, Gomez promoted his status as an outsider. The California-born son of Colombian immigrants graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1987 and served as a Navy SEAL in the 1990's. He lives in the town of Cohasset, on the South Shore.
Sullivan had served as U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts under President George W. Bush, and had been acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. He had previously served as Plymouth County District Attorney and a State Representative from Abington. An opponent of same-sex marriage and abortion, he received support from several conservative organizations in the state.
Winslow, of Norfolk, has served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives since 2010, serving in a seat once occupied by former U.S. Senator Scott Brown. Prior to that, Winslow had been a judge.
Whether the winner of the special election on June 25 is Gomez or Markey, they will not have a long time to serve in the Senate before having to run for a full, six-year term in November of 2014.