Marylanders might not be overly familiar with U.S. Rep Ed Markey (D) of Massachusetts, but the Democratic Party in the Free State is trying to drum up support for the U.S. Senate candidate nonetheless.
Markey, who has represented Massachusetts’s 5th District since 1976, is looking to fill the Senate seat recently vacated when John F. Kerry became Secretary of State. He faces Republican businessman and former Navy SEAL Gabriel E. Gomez in a June 25 special election.
Maryland Democrats, looking to bolster support for keeping a Democrat in the Senate, sent an email to supporters this week encouraging them to volunteer to support Markey, such as by making calls to Massachusetts voters from their homes or by traveling to the state to knock on doors.
Such races, though local, have nationwide effect, said Michael Ford, a spokesman for the Maryland Democratic Party. Maryland Sens. Barbara A. Mikulski (D) of Baltimore and Benjamin L. Cardin (D) of Pikesville need good partners in the Senate, he said.
Ford also said such calls for out-of-state support were usually successful. “People always appreciate the opportunity to volunteer,” he said.
Local Republicans have been engaged in a similar call-to-arms from the Gomez camp, said David Ferguson, executive director of the Maryland Republican Party.
“Almost every state in the country is throwing its support behind the candidates,” Ferguson said, adding that such efforts were common in off-year and special elections, such as the 2010 fight for the Senate seat once held by late Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy (D).
Republican Scott Brown defeated Democrat Martha Coakely in that contest, and served for more than two years before being unseated by current Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) in 2012.
The email to Maryland Democrats touted Markey’s support for equal pay for women, same-sex marriage, immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship and “common-sense gun-reform.”
Gomez’s platform calls for reducing federal spending and criticizing the federal Affordable Care Act but supports immigration reform with a path to citizenship as well as same-sex marriage, according to his campaign website.