BOSTON (WWLP) - Democratic Congressman Edward Markey will be returning to Capitol Hill, but this time, as a U.S. Senator.
Markey defeated Republican Gabriel Gomez and Twelve Visions Party candidate Richard Heos in Tuesday's special election to fill the remainder of the term of now-Secretary of State John Kerry.
With all precincts reporting, Markey received 55% of the vote, compared with 45% for Gomez, and less than 1% for Heos.
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The two major-party candidates have vastly different backgrounds, and ran very different campaigns. Markey, a Malden Democrat, is a veteran lawmaker; being first elected to the House of Representatives in 1976, and having served in the Massachusetts Legislature prior to that.
Gomez, a businessman and former Navy SEAL from Cohasset, had run his campaign touting the fact the he is a Washington outsider, and attempting to turn Markey's many years on Capitol Hill into a liability.
Markey celebrated with supporters at the Park Plaza hotel in Boston Tuesday night; the same hotel where Republican Scott Brown celebrated his surprise special election victory three years before. There were some tense moments at the Markey party early in the night, when early numbers showed a lead for Gomez, but as returns continued to come in, the mood changed as it became clear that the Democrat was winning.
In his victory speech, the longtime congressman said that he would make education a priority, and would seek compromise.
"I will promise you this, I will seek concensus wherever possible. Like you, I am tired of gridlock. But, I will never compromise on our principles," he said.
Markey's election means that there will be no change in the composition of the U.S. Senate, with Democrats holding 52 seats, Republicans holding 46 seats, and two seats being held by independents who caucus with the Democrats.
Despite his many years in Washington, Markey will actually be the state's junior senator; Elizabeth Warren, who was sworn-in just five months ago, is the state's senior U.S. Senator.