(Ben Garver / Berkshire Eagle Staff)

DALTON -- Flanked by a pair of local political heavyweights, U.S. Rep. Edward Markey on Thursday called on his Berkshire County supporters to ensure he's the next Democrat to represent Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate.

Markey and his opponent, U.S Rep. Stephen Lynch of South Boston, are vying for the Democratic Party nomination in Tuesday's U.S. Senate primary election. Recent polls show Markey ahead of Lynch among likely voters.

"We've done a great job identifying with the voters, now we have to get out the vote because the whole country is looking at Massachusetts," Markey said during a campaign rally at the Dalton American Legion.

By Markey's side were Pittsfield Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi and Berkshire Sheriff Thomas Bowler, with Bowler touting Markey as a candidate for the middle class.

Markey's camp also lists North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright and Berkshire state lawmakers William "Smitty" Pignatelli, Tricia Farley-Bouvier and Gailanne Cariddi among the 100 municipal and state elected officials across Massachusetts endorsing the 36-year veteran of Capitol Hill.

The winner of the Markey-Lynch race will square off against either former U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan, private equity investor Gabriel Gomez or state Rep. Daniel Winslow, who are vying for the Republican Party nod on Tuesday.

The party victors will advance to the June 25 special election, so voters can decide who will serve out the remainder of John Kerry's six-year term, which ends in 2014.


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Kerry resigned from the Senate after becoming U.S. secretary of state on Feb. 1, replacing Hillary Rodham Clinton, who stepped down from the post.

Polls in all 351 Massachusetts cities and towns will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

If elected, Markey vows to fight the recent "mindless cuts" in federal spending that threaten the future of young Americans.

"This election is about the kids on the porch across the state, across the country being more healthy and more educated," he said.

To reach Dick Lindsay:
rlindsay@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6233.