Senate election update

84 days until the primary election.

Lowell Mayor Patrick Murphy (@thinkmurphy) nailed the top story of yesterday when he Tweeted “I, too, will not be running for the united states senate. #masen #mapoli #thepatentlyobvious.” That followed declarations by Democrat Gerry Leone and Republicans Bill Weld, Kerry Healey, Richard Tisei, Tagg Romney and, of course, Scott Brown, that they would not be candidates.

The Globe reports that two likely candidates on the Republican side are Gabriel Gomez, a South Shore venture capitalist and former Navy officer who is already making the rounds of Republican leaders in Washington; and Dan Winslow, a state representative from Norfolk County who has a press conference scheduled for later this morning. Winslow was here in Lowell in late October for a UMass Lowell lunchtime forum on the coming presidential election. He ably advocated Mitt Romney to a very much skeptical crowd and was opposed at the podium by former Governor Mike Dukakis. I approached Winslow afterwards to tell him I enjoyed his Tweets on Twitter (he’s quite prolific for a state rep, @danwinslow) but his demeanor reminded me of how I used to feel after arguing a sure-lose case to a jury, so I stepped aside and let him head back Wrentham.

On the Democratic side, the Globe has another front-page story on how Steve Lynch “changes tone on abortion rights.” The story leads with this:

US Representative Stephen F. Lynch, who has consistently described himself as an antiabortion legislator, said Monday that he believes abortion is a constitutionally protected right and that as a US senator he would actively oppose anti­abortion nominees to the Supreme Court.

But then documents Lynch’s long and consistent identification as “a pro-life legislator.” The story also includes this:

Last Thursday, on his first day on the campaign trail, Lynch said he would vote for nominees who oppose legalized abortion because he did not believe the issue should be a “litmus test.” The congressman said Monday that he misheard the question from a Globe reporter.

On the Markey front here in Lowell, a group of us started collecting nomination signatures on Sunday and will make a big push for more this coming weekend. (To make it onto the ballot, each candidate must obtain the signatures of 10,000 registered voters by February 27). As a veteran of cold weather signature gathering, I plan to stock up on some fresh hand warmers. Not only do they keep your fingers from freezing, they also prevent the ink in your pen from becoming too thick to write. If you’d like to help out or to follow the local Markey campaign more closely, please go to our Lowell for Ed Markey page on Facebook and “Like” it.