BOSTON — Republican Gabriel Gomez and Democrat Ed Markey crisscrossed the state Monday, making final pitches to voters and ramping up get-out-the-vote efforts in the final hours before Massachusetts’ special U.S. Senate election Tuesday.
Gomez began his day greeting commuters in Braintree, the town that voted most heavily for Stephen Lynch in the Democratic primary. Reaching out to conservative Democrats is one of Gomez’s aims, but he also ran into young Republicans such as Brian Rodriguez, of Brockton.
“He’s a new type of Republican,” Rodriguez said after asking Gomez to pose for a picture with him. “He’s not like the old-school suit-and-tie type of guys. He’s a new thinker. He’s lenient. I feel like he can do a better job of bringing the two parties together and bringing the country forward … I feel like he’s a uniting factor.”
Next, it was on to a diner in Plymouth, where Gomez met Andrea McMillan, who like Gomez was born in California, but of Argentine parents. Gomez’s parents are from Colombia. McMillan lives in Plymouth now.
“May God bless you,” she told him in Spanish. McMillan, who is unenrolled, says she votes for the person, and she told Gomez she and a friend are voting for him Tuesday.
“We like his demeanor,” McMillan said. “We need change in this state, and hopefully, God willing, he’ll help us do that. We need some new representation.”
But not everyone is a fan. Gomez ran into an independent voter who told him she won’t vote for him. “You can still change your mind by [Tuesday],” Gomez told her.
“No,” Betty Mitchell replied. “We’re not really happy with the Republicans in Congress.”
Gomez seems to meet the greatest resistance from voters such as Mitchell, who fear adding another Republican to the Senate.
At a phone bank in Hyannis, Gomez tried to persuade an undecided voter in Hull to go to the polls Tuesday and vote for him.
“Hey Charles, it’s Gabriel,” Gomez said. “No, I understand. Well, I totally appreciate that. I think if you don’t vote, you’re just going to have the same thing that’s going on in D.C. You want to have a chance to make it go better. I hope you go vote.”
“He’s still undecided,” Gomez said, exhaling as he put down the receiver.
Getting supporters to the polls will be key in an election that is expected to have historically low voter turnout.
Meanwhile, Congressman Ed Markey has spent the day traveling from western Massachusetts back to Greater Boston. He greeted supporters in downtown Springfield before shaking hands with patrons at the Pickle Barrel restaurant in Worcester. Markey asked for votes, but also talked about the hot weather and the Bruins game Monday night.
Monday afternoon, he toured Lawrence with business leaders. The longtime congressman will wrap up his tour in Malden, where he’s holding an election eve rally at the YMCA. Tuesday morning, he’ll vote at a precinct a few blocks away.
WBUR’s Fred Thys reported from the Gomez campaign, and WBUR’s Curt Nickisch reported from the Markey campaign.