Voters go to the polls in U.S. senate state primary Tuesday

Voters go to the polls in U.S. senate state primary Tuesday

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In the privacy of voting booths, citizens exercise their fundamental right.

Massachusetts voters go to the polls on Tuesday, April 30, in a special primary election that will set the stage for a special election on June 25 to fill the United States Senate seat left vacant when John Kerry resigned to become Secretary of State.

The polls will be open from 7 am to 8 pm across the state. Tisbury and Chilmark will hold town elections in conjunction with the special election.

Registered independents (unenrolled) may vote in the primary election but must request only one party’s ballot. Registered Democrats and Republicans may request only their party’s ballot.

Democrats will be asked to choose between Representative Edward J. Markey and Representative Stephen F. Lynch.

Republicans have a three-way race. The candidates are Michael J. Sullivan, a former United States attorney and West Tisbury seasonal resident, State Representative Daniel B. Winslow, and Gabriel E. Gomez, a businessman and former Navy SEAL.

Brief profiles based on information drawn from the candidates’ websites follow.

Stephen F. Lynch, 58, (stephenflynch.com) grew up in a South Boston housing project, worked as an ironworker, was elected president of Ironworkers Local 7 and earned a law degree from Boston College before he entered state politics. In 1999, he earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He served in the Mass. House of Representatives and Senate before he was elected to Congress in 2001. He continues to live in South Boston.

Gabriel Gomez, 47, (gomezforma.com) was born in Los Angeles and is the son of Colombian immigrants. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy, flew E2-C Hawkeyes and C2-A Greyhounds off aircraft carriers and qualified to join the elite Navy SEALS. Following his military service he received his MBA from Harvard Business School and joined the Boston-based investment firm Advent International. He lives in Cohasset with his wife and four children where he coaches youth baseball and softball.

Michael J. Sullivan, 58, (mikesullivanforsenate.com) was born in Boston and grew up in Holbrook. He attended Boston College, and, eventually, law school at Suffolk University. He has served in the Mass House of Representatives, was elected Plymouth County District Attorney, and appointed United States Attorney. The former Acting Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, he is a partner at Boston-based Ashcroft-Sullivan law firm. He and his wife, Terry, live in Abington.

Dan Winslow, 54, (danwinslow.com) was born in Northampton and raised in Amherst. He graduated from Tufts University and from Boston College Law School. He has worked in the private sector most of his professional career, with public service in all three branches of state government, including eight years as a district court judge. He has served as an elected member of the Norfolk planning board, town meeting moderator, and is a state representative. He is senior counsel at the Boston office of Manhattan-based firm of Proskauer Rose.