US Senate special election today

The special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated when John Kerry became Secretary of State is today. The polls across the Commonwealth opened at 7:00 am and will remain open until 8:00 pm. The campaign which began amidst blizzards in February is ending in a 90+ degree heatwave. The candidates are Ed Markey (Democrat) and Gabriel Gomez (Republican).

To help put the results, whatever they might be, in some historical perspective, here are the results of two prior federal special elections in Massachusetts:

On January 19, 2010, Scott Brown (Republican) defeated Martha Coakley (Democrat) in the special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated when Ted Kennedy died. The turnout statewide was 54%. Brown received 1,168,107 votes to Coakley’s 1,058,682. In Lowell, the turnout was 38%. Brown got 10,548 votes to Coakley’s 9,547.

On October 16, 2007, a special election was held to fill the Congressional seat vacated when Marty Meehan resigned to become Chancellor of UMass Lowell. In that election, Niki Tsongas (Democrat) defeated Jim Ogonowski (Republican). The turnout districtwide was 28%. Tsongas received 54,363 votes to Ogonowski’s 47.779. Tsongas won Lowell with 7,305 votes to Ogonowski’s 5,473.