Senate candidates suspend campaign activity after Marathon bombings

The five candidates running for the state’s open Senate seat suspended campaign activity after Monday’s Boston Marathon bombings.

But with competitive primary elections just two weeks away, the candidates will soon face hard choices about if, when, and how to return to the trail.

“They’re going to have to perform an extraordinarily delicate dance,” said Peter Ubertaccio, a professor of political science at Stonehill College. “It’s going to be very difficult for all of these five candidates to try and effectively campaign.”

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The candidates will have to find a way to convey their messages to voters without offending the sensibilities of an electorate shaken by the attacks.

Ubertaccio explained that the atmosphere could subdue an already sleepy Senate contest and could well freeze the race at its current standing.

Republican Gabriel E. Gomez, a private equity investor and former Navy SEAL, completed the Marathon on Monday, shortly before the explosions.

“I crossed the finish line just minutes before the blast, and thank [G]od that my family and staff were out of harm’s way,” he said in a statement, adding that his GOP rivals had called to check on his well being shortly after the blasts.

Republican Michael J. Sullivan, a former US Attorney, served as acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Since the blasts, Sullivan suspended political activity, but has been conducting interviews with the media in his capacity as a former ATF chief.

Republican Dan Winslow, a state representative, attended a vigil in Wrentham on Monday.

“Today is a day for prayer and reflection,” he said there, according to Wicked Local Bellingham. “And tomorrow will be a day to resolve.”

Representative Stephen F. Lynch, Democrat of South Boston, stood with Governor Deval Patrick and others at a press conferences on Monday evening and again Tuesday morning.

Representative Edward J. Markey’s campaign referred a request for comment to his congressional office. A spokeswoman there said Markey is in Massachusetts today, but is unsure where.

Candidates who were running television commercials have pulled those ads from the airwaves.

The Democratic and Republican primary elections are scheduled for April 30.

The general election is slated for June 25.

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