MEDFORD, Mass. — Edward Markey thanked voters on Wednesday after his victory in the special election to succeed John Kerry, and said he was looking forward to the challenge of representing all of Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate.
Markey won Tuesday’s election with 55 percent of the vote, compared with 45 percent for Republican Gabriel Gomez.
“I feel great. It was a tremendous victory,” Markey said after greeting patrons having breakfast at a Medford restaurant. “I know it was about the issues. I know it was about the differences that existed between me and my opponent.”
The timing of Markey’s resignation from the U.S. House, where he has served for more than 36 years, and his swearing-in to the Senate was not immediately clear.
A spokesman for Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin said officials must first wait 10 days for all overseas ballots, cast by military personnel and other Massachusetts residents currently living abroad, to be returned. The Governor’s Council must then formally certify the results of the election.
After Kerry’s resignation from the Senate to become U.S. secretary of state, Gov. Deval Patrick appointed former aide William “Mo” Cowan to serve as interim U.S. senator until after the special election.
Markey said Wednesday that he understood the responsibilities facing him as senator.
“I have to represent the whole state. I have to represent everyone across the commonwealth. That is a huge challenge and I am looking forward to it,” Markey said.
“It requires an understanding of every aspect of Massachusetts’ economy, its hopes and dreams,” he added.
Markey, who was in the minority party in the House, now becomes part of the Senate Democratic majority, but realizes that passing key legislation will not be easy. He said he has worked with Republicans to pass dozens of bills over the years in the House.
Despite his long career in Congress, Markey will be the state’s junior senator to Democrat Elizabeth Warren, who was elected to the Senate in November.
Unofficial results from Tuesday’s election suggest that only about 1.2 million voters cast ballots, marking the lowest voter participation in a U.S. Senate election in Massachusetts in modern times.
The turnout fell short of the 1.6 million voters that Galvin projected prior to the election, though he had said that prediction was probably on the optimistic side.
Under state law, a special election to fill the 5th Congressional District seat will be scheduled within 145-160 days of Markey’s resignation from the House.