The two main candidates for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, Sen. Scott Brown, a Republican, and Elizabeth Warren, passed a major milestone this week, each collecting more than double the amount of signatures necessary to appear on the ballot. Nomination papers first became available two weeks ago. State law requires candidates to collect 10,000 signatures from registered voters. The campaigns had until May 8 to gather the signatures.
In a press release posted on his campaign website, Brown announced his campaign collected more than 20,000 signatures in just two days this past weekend, easily doubling the required amount in a "lightning fast" push.
"I am truly humbled by the outpouring of support from voters across Massachusetts and grateful to the hundreds of volunteers who helped make this extraordinary accomplishment possible," Brown said in the statement. "This campaign will be won on the ground, and this weekend's feat shows my campaign will have the strong grassroots organization necessary to communicate my pro-jobs message and independent record to every voter."
The senator attended signature drives in Northborough, Beverly, Chelmsford, and Attleboro to personally drum up support. By completing the requirement early, the campaign can shift focus to on direct voter contact initiatives and get-out-the-vote efforts.
In a statement given to Masslive.com, Alethea Harney, press secretary for the Warren campaign, announced that the consumer advocate had also easily surpassed the required 10,000 signatures, amassing approximately 26,000 signatures.
"Elizabeth is working hard all across the state to earn the Democratic nomination," said Harney. "We've had successful caucuses, 6,518 people participate in 392 events and signed up 38,555 volunteers."
The signatures collected by both campaigns are unofficial until local town and city officials can verify that the signatures belong to registered voters. The petitions then go to the Secretary of State for final certification.
The two rivals are widely expected to face off in the fall general election. A recent poll found Warren with the support of 72 percent of likely Massachusetts Democratic primary voters, while Brown is running unopposed for his party's nomination for re-election. He was first elected to the United States Senate in 2010, in a special election held to replace the late Edward "Ted" Kennedy, who passed away while still in office. The same poll, announced last week, put Brown ahead of Warren for the first time in the race. The primary election is scheduled for Sept. 6, and the general election for Nov. 6, 2012.
- Elizabeth Warren
- Scott Brown