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A Local Super Tuesday

Tufts graduate Rep. Scott Brown (R-Wrentham) is one of two candidates campaigning to win a special election for the Massachusetts State Senate. Franklin, Mass.

Boston [03.02.04] As ‘Super Tuesday' arrives for the presidential primaries, national candidates aren't the only ones gearing up for the vote. In Massachusetts, voters are also casting ballots in a key local election to fill and open seat on the state senate. Tufts graduate Rep. Scott Brown (R-Wrentham) is one of two candidates vying for the spot - which will thrust the winner into the state's controversial gay marriage debate.

"When State Rep. Scott Brown was a basketball player as a young man, he made the all-star team as a high school player and went on to captain his college team at Tufts University," reported the Sun Chronicle. "Brown has brought that same competitive fire to politics."

In a heated race, Brown is running against Angus McQuilken, a former aid to outgoing State Sen. Cheryl Jacques. McQuilken has been endorsed by the Massachusetts Teachers Association, the Massachusetts Nurses Association and police and firefighter unions.

But some analysts say that the election many not come down to endorsements or local issues -- and instead may be overshadowed by the heated over gay marriage underway in Massachusetts.

"Republican state Rep. Scott Brown, who has been in the House since 1999, opposes gay marriage but says he will support civil unions," reported the Boston Globe. "Democrat Angus McQuilken, Jacques' chief of staff for 10 years, is a strong supporter of marriage rights for same-sex couples."

As a result, many voters are looking closely at the outcome of the election - and they aren't the only ones. As Tufts political science professor Jeffrey Berry noted this week, Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is also taking a key interest in the Tufts graduate and Republican.

"The governor's prestige is on the line," Berry told the Associated Press. "But if the Republicans win this seat it's a sobering message to the Democrats that the governor's popularity has some coattails."

Stumping for Brown in front of a local barbershop this week, Romney said, "I think Scott Brown will bring change at Beacon Hill."

The governor added, "I'm a strong believer in having two parties in Massachusetts," referencing the fact that, if he were to win, Brown would be only the seventh Republican in the 40-seat state senate.

But according to Brown - who has quickly risen from Wrentham assessor to selectman to state representative - local politicians aren't the only ones backing him.

"I have already campaigned at 2,000 houses and everyone but five said they will vote for me," Brown told the Daily News Transcript

Although he is committed to his campaign, the Tufts graduate says that he does not plan to make a job out of politics. A major in the National Guard and an accomplished athlete, Brown has had a varied career. As a former model, Brown was voted sexiest man in America by Cosmopolitan magazine in 1982. He has maintained his law practice while a state representative and says he intends to serve no more than four terms in the seat if elected on Tuesday.

"I don't want to become a career politician," said Brown, who makes time in his hectic schedule to coach his daughter's soccer team. As he later told the Transcript, "I still need to be a dad."

Brown - a self-described "moderate on many issues" - says that voters will identify with his platform to reform Beacon Hill.

"Everyone wants to bring back state funding," Brown told the Transcript. "The suburbs are not doing as well as the cities and they are fed up with not getting their share. They want someone with experience. They are concerned about taxes, getting their roads and bridges working - real life issues."

 

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