With the special election for the U.S. Senate less than a month away, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino endorsed Democratic nominee Ed Markey on Friday in Dorchester.
“I’ve been in office a long time,” Menino said to about 100 supporters in attendance. “You [Markey] have the experience to get the job done right the first time. I’ll have your back in Boston and you will have our back in Washington.”
Menino, a fellow Democrat, said he approved of U.S. Rep. Markey’s practical stance on gun control and, despite accusations from Republican candidate Gabriel Gomez, Markey will remain committed to the people he represents.
“You can’t judge elected officials by being in the newspapers all the time,” Menino said. “What he does for his constituents is so, so important.”
Criticism from Gomez came on Thursday when the former Navy SEAL called Markey “pond scum” during an interview with National Public Radio. The comment was in response to a political ad from the Markey campaign that placed Gomez alongside Osama bin Laden.
“I don’t think there’s anything more offensive,” Gomez said. “He’s just got to be called what he is.”
Markey has also faced criticism for missing 40 votes in the House. He blamed both criticisms on a busy campaign schedule and the opposition’s fear of losing the election.
“He [Gomez] is attempting to distract from the issues by attacking in a way that is from the traditional Republican playbook,” Markey said. “I don’t think that the people of Massachusetts want to hear any name-calling. I think people want to hear how this election and how who the next senator is will affect their families.”
Menino said Republican criticisms were in response to a lack of enthusiasm in the conservative base.
“They [Republicans] don’t have the excitement they had [for former Republican Senator Scott Brown],” he said. “There’s no excitement for [Gomez].”
Menino said Markey had a good track record as a state representative by bringing in funds from the Department of Homeland Security as well as by advocating for sustainability policies.
Markey said the endorsement was an important step toward winning the June 25 election.
“This endorsement is a great honor because it is the kind of partnership that we will need in Washington in order to fight for the cities [of Massachusetts.]” he said.
Markey said he was happy to have the mayor on his side, and that Menino’s support will increase his odds for winning the election.
“This race has now been given a jolt of electricity,” he said.
The next scheduled debates between the two candidates will be held on June 5 and June 18.