BOSTON (AP) - Four U.S. Senate hopefuls say they've collected more than enough signatures to get on the April 30 primary ballot and supporters of a fifth candidate say they've also crossed the critical hurdle ahead of Wednesday's filing deadline.
Michael Sullivan, former U.S. attorney for Massachusetts, had relied solely on volunteers to collect the 10,000 voter signatures needed to land a spot on the Republican primary ballot.
Sullivan supporter Holly Robichaud said Tuesday that the campaign filed more than 20,000 raw signatures with town and city clerks and that more than 10,000 have been certified.
"Mike Sullivan will be on the ballot," Robichaud told the Associated Press on Tuesday. She said more than 350 volunteers were involved in the effort.
Earlier in the day, a spokesman for fellow Republican Gabriel Gomez, a Cohasset businessman and former Navy SEAL, said his campaign had collected at least 25,000 signatures.
Gomez also sent out a tweet, saying: "We're in."
A third Republican hopeful, Norfolk state Rep. Daniel Winslow, previously announced his campaign had gathered at least 25,000 signatures.
Gomez and Winslow said they relied on a mix of volunteer and paid signature gatherers.
Campaign officials for the two Democratic candidates - U.S. Reps. Stephen Lynch and Edward Markey - also said they've collected enough signatures to get on the ballot.
Markey is planning to transmit a webcast to house parties thrown by supporters across the state Wednesday to acknowledge what he said were the 2,500 volunteers who held more than 1,000 signature-gathering events to get his name on the ballot.
The deadline to submit signatures to city and town clerks is 5 p.m. Wednesday. Campaigns routinely try to gather well above the minimum required to protect against signatures that might be thrown out or challenged.
The signatures will later have to be collected and delivered to Secretary of State William Galvin's office.
The push for signatures guarantees contested primaries on both the Republican and Democratic side in the special election - something that was missing from last year's Senate election pitting Democrat Elizabeth Warren against Republican Scott Brown.
Also Tuesday, Gomez announced he's formally launching his campaign with a tour of the state.
"Our campaign against crushing debt & gridlock starts Thursday AM. You in?" Gomez tweeted.
Gomez has so far refused to hold public events or speak to reporters.
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 to become secretary of state.