DANVERS (CBS/AP) — Norfolk state Rep. Dan Winslow emerged as the winner of the Massachusetts Republican Party’s first straw poll in the U.S. Senate race.
GOP Chairwoman Kirsten Hughes hosted the straw poll.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Kim Tunnicliffe reports
All three Republican candidates — Winslow, Cohasset businessman and former Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez, and former U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan —participated in the poll, which was held Saturday at the Danversport Yacht Club in Danvers.
“My focus isn’t the straw poll. My focus is the primary voters out in the grassroots,” said Winslow. “I’ve been meeting with voters, I’ve been meeting with civic leaders, I’ve been meeting with activists – people who care about America and people who are afraid for our future if we don’t change things.”
Winslow secured 79 votes, Gomez got 59 votes, and Sullivan had 55.
“I’d rather try and fail. I’d rather do that than remain on the bleachers complaining. So I’m going to go full-board, full steam ahead,” said Gomez.
Republicans are hoping to reclaim one the state’s two U.S. Senate seats after former GOP Sen. Scott Brown lost his re-election bid last year to Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
“Washington is broken and has been broken for far too long,” said Sullivan. “I’m excited about the prospects of our party. I know that there are so many people anxious to make a difference.”
The three GOP candidates are also hoping to work out a debate schedule.
The two Democratic candidates — Congressmen Stephen Lynch and Edward Markey — have already agreed to six debates before the April 30 primary.
The special election is June 25.
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)