Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


May 2, 2013

Many sit out special Senate primary

Timing of vote keeps turnout low

By 11 a.m. Tuesday, voters in the state’s special U.S. Senate primary election had already surpassed the numbers that came out in total for March’s town election.

Andover voters ultimately mirrored results statewide, selecting Democratic candidate Edward Markey, with a 68 percent vote, and Republican candidate Gabriel Gomez, with 50.5 percent of the vote.

Markey and Gomez will now advance to the general election on June 25 in a bid to replace former Sen. John Kerry who was appointed as secretary of state by President Barack Obama.

In Andover, Markey topped challenger Congressmen Stephen Lynch, with 31.5 percent, for his party’s nod. On the Republican side, businessman Gomez bested state Rep. Dan Winslow (R-Norfolk), who finished second with 34 percent of the GOP vote, and former U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan, who was third with less than 15 percent of the vote.

Overall, 3,609 voters — 15.8 percent of the total registered in town — cast ballots, with about 63 percent voting in the Democratic primary and the remaining 37 percent marking the Republican ballot.

Though the turnout more than tripled that of the town’s March election, “we wish for more,” Town Clerk Larry Murphy said.

“It’s not what I’d call a good turnout,” he said. “But there are more contested races” than the town elections, when less than 5 percent turned out for the whole day.

Statewide, Secretary of State William Galvin predicted about 750,000 of the roughly 4 million eligible voters would cast their ballots in the Democratic and Republican primaries for the open U.S. Senate seat.

“Obviously the tragic events of April 15 serve to cause people to think about other things other than politics,” Galvin said, noting the bombings had affected media coverage and caused a debate to be canceled.

Non-voting voters agreed.

Barbara Pathak, 54, of Windemere Drive, sat in Starbucks on Main Street Tuesday reading the New York Times while taking a break from CNN coverage of the marathon bombing.

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