Local supporters are gearing up to get out the vote in tomorrow’s sleepy U.S. Senate election.
The race pits Republican businessman Gabriel Gomez, 47, against Democratic Congressman Edward Markey, 66, who has served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 37 years. Both men are vying for the vacancy created when John Kerry was appointed secretary of state earlier this year.
The race appears to be in competition with the normal swing into summer, making it a challenge to grab voters’ attention.
But Darek Barcikowski, chairman of Salem’s Democratic City Committee, said the energy in the local Markey campaign field office on Washington Street is high.
“We are working very hard to generate interest,” said Barcikowski, noting that several factors are making that a challenge. “It’s a special election, and it’s in June.”
Nicholas Sarantopoulos, chairman of Salem’s Republican City Committee, said volunteers will be going door-to-door to get out the vote for Gomez.
“I think that he is an excellent candidate, because, unfortunately, in Massachusetts there is a one-party system, and we need to have a healthy debate on the issues. We need candidates to represent both political parties,” Sarantopoulos said,
Sarantopoulos likes Gomez for his military service and his stance on the issues. He also likes that Gomez is on the side of entrepreneurship and business growth.
“I think on the other side, Markey is a Washington insider; he has been there all those years,” Sarantopoulos said.
Jeff Cohen of Salem has been putting in long hours volunteering for the Markey campaign. His mother, Ann Cohen, who turned 80 in March, runs the canvassing for the Markey campaign in Marblehead.
He says he’s part of “a little army” working for Markey that could be the difference in the race.
“I support the Markey campaign for a couple of reasons; primarily, he is someone who gets things done,” Cohen said. Markey has been involved with a lot of legislation but has flown under the radar in Washington, he said.