Our opinion: Markey is a quietly effective force for state

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Massachusetts has had a few high-profile U.S. Senate elections in recent years. This year's race is not one of them. The contest between Democratic incumbent Edward Markey and Republican challenger Brian Herr has been as under the radar as the Elizabeth Warren-Scott Brown contest two years ago was all over the news.

While Ms. Warren has emerged as a national figure, pushing progressive causes and campaigning for Democratic colleagues, Mr. Markey has been the same steady workhorse he was during his long tenure in the House of Representatives. Over the years he has built up expertise in a variety of areas, among them telecommunications, the environment and the energy industry, which makes him valuable in a Washington, D.C. that is long on blowhards and short on elected officials who actually know of what they speak.

Mr. Markey continues to be a consistent progressive advocate of programs that benefit the poor, middle class, the elderly and students. He has long been a voice against misguided military adventures abroad, countering those who learn nothing from history, recent and past.

Mr. Herr, left to his own devices by the national GOP, has not made much of an impact. He drew the wrong kind of attention when he criticized Mr. Markey for his advocacy of measures countering climate change. With control of the U.S. Senate up for grabs, a vote for Mr. Herr is a vote against science and grim reality, as well as a vote for Mitch McConnell and knee-jerk opposition to anything offered by President Obama.

From a Berkshire perspective, it would be appreciated if Mr. Markey would come by more often to visit his western constituents. That caveat aside, he has been a quietly effective senator since he was chosen in a special election to complete the term of new secretary of state John Kerry. The Eagle endorses Edward Markey for U.S. Senate.


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