Middlesex DA Has Fighting Chance
February 04, 2013
by Erin Smith
Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone might not have the campaign funds or high-profile endorsements of two potential rivals for the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, but political watchers say his outsider status could give him a good shot at competing for the seat.
Leone said he's considering a primary run against U.S. Reps. Edward Markey and Stephen Lynch.
"I'm going to give it some thought," Leone told the Herald, adding that he's been besieged by calls from supporters urging him to get in the race.
"It's a ripe opportunity for someone like Leone who's not a creature of Washington, D.C.," said David Guarino, a Democratic strategist who's not working for any of the candidates. "Gerry could run as a real outsider. In a short primary, money is a lot less of an issue than in a general election race."
In a crowded primary field, a candidate like Leone could win with just a small segment of the votes, according to Peter Ubertaccio of the Martin Institute for Law and Society at Stonehill College.
"Markey and Lynch are still going to be formidable, but if you end up with a field of five to six candidates, you could win the primary by winning 25 percent of the vote. In fact, that's how Markey won his race in 1976," Ubertaccio said.
Markey's campaign could not be reached for comment yesterday, but Lynch seemed unfazed by the added competition.
"We welcome District Attorney Leone and anyone else in the Democratic primary," said Lynch campaign spokesman Conor Yunits. "As we've been saying, the voters of Massachusetts deserve the chance to decide who their Senate nominee will be."
Former Republican state Senate Majority Leader Richard Tisei told the Herald yesterday he will not run for the seat.
State voters will head to the polls for an April 30 primary and a June 25 special election to replace former U.S. Sen. John Kerry, who is now secretary of state.
Joe Battenfeld contributed to this report.
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