The Democratic candidates for US Senate resumed TV advertising on Tuesday after a week’s silence observed out of deference to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.
US Representative Stephen F. Lynch of South Boston launched a TV ad focused exclusively on the tragedy and avoiding any mention of the campaign except for the required language approving the ad’s message.
“My heart goes out to those affected by this unthinkable terrorist attack,” he says, speaking directly to the camera. “I want to thank those whose actions saved lives and the police whose heroic efforts brought it all to an end.”
“In the face of this tragedy, our city and state offered a stunning example of the strength of the human spirit,” Lynch adds. “We hold in our hearts those we lost but we will get through this together and work toward a brighter day.”
His opponent in Tuesday’s Democratic primary for US Senate, fellow US Representative Edward J. Markey of Malden, also resumed TV advertising on Tuesday. His campaign returned to circulation an existing ad focusing on women’s issues, saying he cosponsored an equal pay for equal work measure, helped force insurance companies to cover mammograms, and has a strong record of supporting abortion rights.
Democratic campaign activity had been suspended after the transformative events of Marathon Monday, when three people were killed and 264 injured in a terrorist attack along the marathon route. The Democrats resumed debates Monday and Tuesday.
The three candidates seeking the Republican nomination resumed campaigning earlier and have been vocal in recent days on the terrorist attacks. Michael J. Sullivan, a former acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, has been quoted as an expert on the attacks. Gabriel E. Gomez, a Cohasset businessman and former Navy SEAL, ran the marathon and finished just about 10 minutes before the blasts. He said last week that the surviving suspect should be tried as an enemy combatant.
And state Representative Daniel B. Winslow joined lawmakers Tuesday who cited the dangers that law enforcement officials faced following the attacks, as they chased down the suspects, to call for a renewal of the death penalty in Massachusetts for those who kill police.
Still, Republicans have been accusing Democrats of using the marathon tragedy for political gain, citing a letter sent out by the Democratic National Committee aiming to thank Boston emergency responders. Those who signed the letter could then be tapped for Democratic solicitations of donations and support, Republicans charged.
The Massachusetts Republican Party has unsuccessfully pushed Markey to renounce the DNC letter and its spokesman on Tuesday seized upon Lynch’s ad, suggesting both Democrats are going too far.
“With Ed Markey refusing to denounce his party’s use of the marathon tragedy for political gain and Lynch’s latest ad, it is clear these career politicians have either lost touch with Massachusetts or are willing to sink to new lows for a promotion,” MassGOP spokesman Tim Buckley said in a statement.
The Democratic candidates are elected officials who were often among those regularly appearing at televised press conferences following the attack. Lynch knows the Dorchester family hard-hit by the tragedy; Lynch’s wife worked with Denise Richard, who was injured in the blast with her daughter and whose 8-year-old son, Martin, was killed.
Lynch also has history with campaigning in the face of disaster: He first won the Democratic nomination to his seat in the House during a special election that coincided with the terrorist attacks in New York of Sept. 11, 2001—a day so unpredictable that the Secretary of State briefly called for cancelling the special election.