BOSTON (AP) — Four of five Massachusetts U.S. Senate hopefuls say they have either collected more than enough signatures of registered voters or are confident they will have enough to land a spot on the primary ballot.

A spokesman for Republican Gabriel Gomez, a Cohasset businessman and former Navy SEAL, said Tuesday the campaign has collected at least 25,000 signatures, well above the 10,000 threshold needed to qualify for the April 30 primary. Gomez also sent out a tweet stating “We’re in,” and has scheduled an official campaign launch for Thursday.

The deadline to submit signatures to city and town clerks is Wednesday at 5 p.m. Campaigns routinely try to gather well above the minimum required to protect against signatures that might be thrown out or challenged.

Republican state Rep. Daniel Winslow previously announced his campaign had gathered at least 25,000 signatures. Volunteers for a third Republican, former U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan, have also been gathering signatures but it is not yet clear whether he will secure a spot on the ballot.

On the Democratic side, U.S. Rep. Edward Markey’s campaign has said it has more than enough signatures to qualify and U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch’s campaign has expressed confidence that it will clear the hurdle.

Markey and Lynch have already agreed to six debates before the primary.

The special election is scheduled for June 25 to fill the seat formerly held by John Kerry, who resigned from the Senate to become the U.S. Secretary of State.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


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