Democrats, Republicans Square Off in First Debate

The six candidates for U.S. Senate.

It was a big week in the race for U.S. Senate, with both Republican and Democratic candidates facing off for the first time in a debate Wednesday night.

Candidates running in the April primary faced each other in two 30-minute debates in an event sponsored by the Boston Media Consortium and held at the WCVB-TV, Channel 5 studios in Needham. 

Congressmen Stephen Lynch (D-South Boston) and Edward Markey (D-Malden) went several rounds on the topic of health care reform in the first debate between the two Democrats. The two also sparred over bank bailouts.

Write-in Democratic candidate Brett Rhyne was not at the debate.

Republicans also faced each other for the first time in their own debate immediately following Lynch and Markey. Candidates Dan Winslow (R-Norfolk), former Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez and former U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan leaned on their diverse backgrounds to explain positions on issues ranging from the economy and debt reduction to gay marriage.

The candidates are scheduled to meet up again Monday night in the second set of debates at UMass Lowell.

Markey, Sullivan lead in the polls

This week a WBUR Poll found Markey and Sullivan leading in their respective Democratic and Republican primary fields.

The results of the poll showed Markey had an 11-point edge (35 percent to 24 percent) over Lynch.

Sullivan, of Abington, leads the Republican candidates with 28 percent, followed by Winslow at 10 percent and Gomez with 8 percent.

April 10 deadline for voter registration, party affiliation changes

The last day to register to vote, change a voting address or change party affiliation for the April 30 primary is Wednesday, April 10. Not sure where or how to register to vote or change party affiliation? Here’s everything you need to know, courtesy of Secretary of State William Galvin’s office.

The primary election is slated for April 30, with the general election to take place June 25.

South End Patch