Sunday June 23, 2013

DARTMOUTH . (AP) -- Democratic U.S. Rep. Edward Markey and Republican Gabriel Gomez kept up a busy schedule in the final weekend before the June 25 special election for the U.S. Senate, with both campaigns trying to energize their base and mobilize for a get-out-the-vote effort amid projections of a light turnout.

Markey, a member of Congress since 1976 and Gomez, a former Navy SEAL and political newcomer, are vying for the seat formerly held by John Kerry, who resigned from the Senate earlier this year to become U.S. Secretary of State.

Markey capped a day of campaigning on Saturday with a rally on the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth campus with Vice President Joe Biden, who was the latest in a string of Democratic heavy-hitters who have made campaign visits in recent weeks, following President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton.

Speaking to several hundred Markey backers, Biden repeatedly said Republicans in Washington "don't get it," and mocked Gomez's claim that he would represent a new kind of Republican.

Gomez had more than two dozen campaign stops planned over the next three days in what he has dubbed his "people over politics" tour. He began his day by running in a road race in Newton and planned more stops Saturday, hoping to sway independent voters his way.

In Wakefield, Gomez greeted volunteers at a phone bank, sitting down to make several calls himself.

"I appreciate that," he told one person on the phone who expressed support. "Please tell all your friends to vote." But he mostly reached answering machines on the warm weekend afternoon.


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Gomez, accompanied by his wife and three of his four children later joined about two dozen supporters at a barbecue.

He acknowledged his underdog status but said his field effort for Tuesday's election was in "phenomenal shape."