All five candidates in the special election for US Senate have collected well above the required amount of certified signatures to qualify for their party’s primary ballots, according to the initial tally at the 5 p.m. Wednesday deadline.
According to the Central Voter Registry at the secretary of state’s office, Democratic US Representative Edward J. Markey led the field by day’s end, with 33,799 signatures, followed by his rival for the party nomination, US Representative Stephen F. Lynch, whose tally was at 25,104.
Former US Attorney Michael Sullivan, using only volunteers, led the Republican field with 18,812, followed by Cohasset businessman Gabriel E. Gomez, whose count was at 16,937, and state Representative Daniel B. Winslow, at 13,406.
Winslow and Gomez paid signature-gathering firms to help their signature drive.
The Democrats relied on volunteers and campaign staff. Both primaries will be held on April 30.
The signature tallies will increase over the next few days as city and town clerks continue to certify the nomination papers. They have until Monday to complete the process. Candidates then must deliver those papers to the secretary of state’s office by 5 p.m. on Wednesday.