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(NECN: Alison King) - Just hours after Congressman Ed Markey soundly beat his Democratic opponent, Stephen Lynch, in Massachusetts' U.S. Senate primary, state Democratic leaders, including Lynch and his supporters, were back at the Boston hotel for a unity breakfast.
"I'm so proud of Ed Markey, my friend and I'm so proud of the Democratic party for the type of campaign that was run here. I wouldn't change a thing...except for the ending," Lynch said.
Markey also spoke at the breakfast.
"We are committed to ensuring that the Republicans do not win this seat in Massachusetts in the same way that they did in 2010," he said.
Democrats might have liked Markey to now be up against the most conservative Republican in the race, former U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan, but it is the more moderate political newcomer Gabriel Gomez - a Cohasset businessman, former Navy Seal and son of Columbian immigrants - who surprised many with a big win.
Gomez was out shaking hands at a South Boston Tee Station early Friday morning.
And he had some digs of his own for Markey...
"Congressman Markey's been down there since 1976. I mean, I was playing little league baseball in 1976. He said he's going to be for term limits and now he's on his 19th term," Gomez said.
In the coming weeks, Gomez will paint Markey as the 37-year Washington insider, a rubber stamp for a liberal agenda with no attempts to find compromise or build bridges with Republicans.
Markey will counter that Gomez is on the side of the extremist Republicans who vote against abortion rights and for guns. And Markey will not miss an opportunity to challenge Gomez to sign the People's Pledge banning undisclosed, unlimited amounts out of state money from the race.
"Gabriel Gomez says he's a new kind of politician? Well, in Massachusetts, that means that you take the People's Pledge," Markey said.
"I've been clear, absolutely not... Politicians make pledges because nobody trusts them and I think it's the height of hypocrisy when Congressman Markey, who's been taking outside money for the last 30 years from groups that he regulates and has control over and now he wants me to do the same thing?" Gomez said.
Markey would not say if he would take the People's Pledge even if Gomez does not.
Gomez has his own challenge for Markey - he's calling for three debates for the June 25 election.