Senate primary is Tuesday
Island voters go to the polls Tuesday to vote in a statewide primary election that will determine the Democratic and Republican candidates in the January 19 special election to fill the Senate seat left vacant by the death of Edward M. Kennedy on August 25.
The winner of the January election will serve out the remainder of Mr. Kennedy's term, through January 2013.
The four Democratic candidates are Michael E. Capuano, Martha Coakley, Alan A. Khazei and Stephen G. Pagliuca.
The two Republican candidates are Scott P. Brown and Jack E. Robinson.
Two of the candidates have local connections.
Prior to attending law school, Ms. Coakley worked on Martha's Vineyard where she cleaned houses and worked as a waitress at the Captain's Galley in Edgartown.
Mr. Robinson's father, Jack E. Robinson Sr., was an Oak Bluffs resident and owner of the Martha's Vineyard Resort and Racquet Club in Oak Bluffs. He died in December 2006.
Following are thumbnail sketches based on campaign information found at each candidate's website.
Michael E. Capuano, 57, of Somerville, U.S. representative, received a Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College in 1973 and a law degree from Boston College Law School in 1977. A former five-term mayor of Somerville, he was first elected to Congress in November of 1998.
He has been "a consistent and outspoken opponent of the war in Iraq."
Mr. Capuano believes that we should seek out al-Qaeda where they are, not where they were. He said the United States must craft an exit strategy and bring our troops home, not increase our number of forces in Afghanistan.
He strongly supports a woman's right to choose; supports equal marriage; opposes the death penalty; and is a strong supporter of a public health insurance option.
Martha Coakley, 56, of Medford, Massachusetts Attorney General, graduated from Williams College in 1975, and Boston University School of Law in 1979.
She began her legal career in 1979, practicing civil litigation and joined the Middlesex District Attorney's Office in 1986. She was elected Middlesex District Attorney in 1998.
On Afghanistan, she says "that the military strategy going forward must include specific, measurable goals and realistic, concrete plans to achieve them."
Ms. Coakley said she would be a leader who will always fight "to ensure that women are able to access safe reproductive health care;" she defends same-sex couples and their right to marriage; is a strong opponent of the death penalty; and believes health care reform should focus on expanding coverage, improving quality and reducing costs.
Alan Khazei, 48, of Brookline is the co-founder of City Year, and the founder of Be the Change, Inc.
After graduating from Harvard College and Harvard Law School, he co-founded City Year in Boston, a domestic Peace Corps designed to engage young Americans of all backgrounds in a year of service in exchange for a stipend and an award to help them further their educations.
In 2007, he launched Be The Change, Inc., which is "dedicated to building national movements of citizens and leaders to push for bold solutions to some of our nation's most stubborn social problems."
He is opposed to sending any more troops to Afghanistan; supports the Senate health care bill; supports expanding the school day and year and paying for the full cost of college for each year of community service.
Stephen G. Pagliuca, 54, of Weston graduated from Duke University and attended Harvard Business School. A successful businessman, he is one of the managing directors at Bain Capital, a Boston based investment firm, and is co-owner and managing partner of the Boston Celtics.
On Afghanistan, he said his "bias would be to bring our troops home as safely and as judiciously as possible." He said it time to stop spending hundreds of billions of dollars on wars overseas while Americans are struggling with their expenses.
He supports a public option as a piece of the bigger challenge of health care reform; supports continued investment in clean, renewable energy; and would bring jobs back to Massachusetts and keep them here through strategic investment in leading state industries that include life sciences, green technology, hi-tech, tourism, manufacturing, and education.
Scott Brown, 50, of Wrentham is a graduate of Tufts University, and Boston College Law School. A former Wrentham selectman, the current Massachusetts state Senator served three terms as a state representative. Mr. Brown has been a member of the Massachusetts National Guard for nearly 30 years and holds the rank of Lt. Colonel in the Judge Advocate Generals Corps.
He supports "reasonable and appropriate" development of alternative energy sources such as wind, solar, nuclear, geothermal and improved hydroelectric facilities.
He is opposed to providing driver's licenses and in-state tuition to illegal immigrants, supports stronger border enforcement and an employment verification system with penalties for companies that hire illegal immigrants.
He thinks the government should have the ability to impose the death penalty in cases where it is justified; and believes marriage "is between a man and a woman."
Jack E. Robinson, 49, of Duxbury is a graduate of Brown University, Harvard Law School, and Harvard Business School.
He has held a variety of executive positions in the airline industry and the financial services industry and founded the digital cellular company Oceanic Digital Communications, which he later sold. He is currently general counsel of Benistar, a national third-party administrator of employer health and welfare benefit plans.
Mr. Robinson opposes the current health care plan as wasteful and proposes a 12-point plan that provides universal coverage and minimizes costs without reducing Medicare benefits.
He supports Cape Wind; would promote renewable and sustainable energy sources; and create jobs and end the recession by stimulating the economy through targeted tax cuts and adoption of pro-growth policies "that promote business investment and entrepreneurship." He would eliminate the capital gains tax on all investments made in 2010.
He said our military and financial resources should be focused on assisting Pakistan.
The deadline to register to vote or change party affiliation for the state primary was November 18. Voters must either be an enrolled member of the party for which they wish to cast a ballot (Democratic, Libertarian or Republican) or not enrolled in any political party (unenrolled), according to information provided by the Secretary of State's office. Unenrolled voters may cast a ballot for the party of their choice (Democratic, Libertarian or Republican) and shall remain unenrolled after voting. Those registered in a political designation, political groups that have not collected enough votes to be designated a political party (for example the Green Rainbow Party, Working Party), may not vote in primaries.
The voter registration deadline for the January 19, 2010, special state election is Wednesday, December 30. All registered voters may participate in the special state election regardless of party affiliation.
The polls in the six Island towns open at 7 am and close at 8 pm. Polling locations are as follows:
• Edgartown Town Hall selectmen's meeting room
• Oak Bluffs Library meeting room
• Tisbury American Legion Hall
• West Tisbury Public Safety Building (State Road fire station)
• Chilmark Community Center
• Aquinnah Town Hall meeting room