Republican Gabriel E. Gomez, fresh off his upset victory, kicked off the special election campaign Wednesday by labeling his Democratic opponent, Edward J. Markey, a “poster boy” for term limits and by refusing to sign a pledge to limit special interest money in the race.
Markey, a 36-year veteran of Congress, quickly hit back at Gomez for saying he personally opposes abortion and would vote against a ban on assault weapons. He warned that Gomez’s rejection of the so-called People’s Pledge to limit outside money would unleash a flood of negative ads in their race.
The vigorous back-and-forth reflected the sudden energy in the Massachusetts Senate race, a day after Gomez, a wealthy investor and former US Navy SEAL with almost no electoral experience, scored a come-from-behind victory against two opponents with much longer roots in the state Republican Party.
As the candidates sprint toward the special election on June 25, the race could become a nationally watched contest with heavy involvement by special interests.
The level of spending from outside groups, however, will be determined largely by polling, some of which has already begun. Strategists for political committees supporting both parties said they want to see whether Gomez will be a viable candidate before committing money to either his campaign or to Markey’s.
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