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US Senate candidates prepare for final week of campaigning in Massachusetts

On Friday, Democrat Edward Markey unveiled a new television ad featuring President Barack Obama and prepared for a rally with former Democratic President Bill Clinton in Worcester on Saturday. Republican rival Gabriel Gomez was planning a series of town hall forums to highlight what he calls his plans for cleaning up Washington and serving as a bipartisan problem solver in the Senate. He’s planned a “Latino Town Hall” event for Saturday in Southbridge.

Also Friday, Gomez won some key support from former Republican U.S. Senator Scott Brown, who issued a fundraising appeal on his behalf.

In an email sent Friday, Brown describes Gomez as a husband, father and baseball coach with real-world business and military experience. He also called Gomez a great candidate who is running a strong campaign.

“As evidenced by the ugly and negative campaign they are running, Congressman Ed Markey and the Democrats are willing to do whatever it takes to win this Senate seat,” wrote Brown, who opted not to run in the special election after losing to Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren in last year’s senate race.

The 30-second Markey ad released Friday shows Obama’s endorsement of the longtime Democratic congressman during a recent campaign rally in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood.

Obama says Markey would be “an outstanding member of the United States Senate,” championing the needs of middle class families and small businesses and standing up “for commonsense laws to keep our children safe from gun violence.”

Democrats are eager to hold onto the Senate seat left vacant by the resignation of Democrat John Kerry, who became secretary of state.

Gomez, in announcing the series of five town hall meetings, said he wants to counter the “army of Washington machine politicians” Democrats are bring to Massachusetts and the “misleading attacks designed to deceive voters.”

“I’m a Navy guy, and my army is the people of Massachusetts,” Gomez said in press release announcing the schedule of events. “These town hall meetings are for the people of Massachusetts — independents, Republicans, and Democrats alike.”

Clinton is among the top Democrats Markey is hoping will help him defeat Gomez by rallying Democrats and independents for an election scheduled when many voters are on vacation or not thinking about politics.

The evening rally at Worcester Polytech Institute will also feature Warren and U.S. Rep. James McGovern.

Also Friday, a joint fundraising committee that Gomez opened with the National Republican Senatorial Committee filed a report with the Federal Election Commission showing it has raised more than $688,000.

The Gabriel Gomez Victory Fund 2013 was created on May 7 to help the Cohasset private equity investor and former Navy SEAL narrow his fundraising gap with Markey.

Among those who contributed tens of thousands of dollars to the fund are executives from Mitt Romney’s former private equity firm Bain Capital, the wife of New England Patriots team president Jonathan Kraft, who contributed $37,500, and a top official from Gomez’s former private equity firm Advent International.

Of the money raised, nearly $495,000 was transferred to the National Republican Senatorial Committee. The joint committee had more than $118,000 left in its account heading as of June 5.

The special U.S. Senate election is June 25.

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