Gabriel Gomez has won the Massachusetts Republican Senate primary, while Representative Ed Markey triumphed in the Democrat primary.
Gomez, a former Navy SEAL and private-equity investor, has never held office before and campaigned as a political outsider. He ran for selectman in his town a decade ago, but has largely remained uninvolved in politics otherwise. In the primary, he was generally perceived as more moderate than former ATF acting director Michael Sullivan, and more conservative than state representative Dan Winslow, who is more libertarian. He outspent his rivals by huge margins, which enabled him to have a crucial presence on the airwaves in the week leading up to tonight’s primary.
It will be no easy task for Gomez to win the general election in blue Massachusetts. He has a somewhat muddled political history — he donated to President Obama in the 2008 cycle (though he says he voted for John McCain), and gave to Alan Khazei in the Democratic Senate primary for the 2010 special election that Scott Brown ultimately won. Thanks to the fact that he has no record in elected office, he definitely has room to manuever in the general election. What might also boost Gomez is that Markey’s rival, Stephen Lynch, was widely seen as more conservative than Markey. Independent voters who preferred Lynch’s less radical liberalism may be disinclined to vote for Markey, and more willing to give Gomez a shot.