[Stephen F. Lynch], 46, exploded on the political scene in 1994 when he knocked off incumbent state Representative Paul Gannon in a Democratic primary, a rarity in Boston. In early 1996, he stunned William M. Bulger Jr. in a special primary to fill the Senate seat of Bulger's father, who had stepped down as Senate president. This year, Lynch battled three fellow state senators in a bruising special primary in the congressional district, but kept his composure and won by a comfortable margin.
Lynch, a social conservative but economic populist, had tremendous logistical advantages in the general election and exploited each of them. Democrats outnumber Republicans nearly 4 to 1, and Lynch had a larger urban base, an extraordinary field organization, and he outspent [Jo Ann Sprague] 7 to 1.
Sprague also made mistakes. A week after the terrorist hijackings, she accused Lynch of failing to support President Bush's defense policies. Lynch's campaign shot back that the remarks were inappropriate and a distortion of his support for Bush's response to the terrorists. What Lynch opposes is Bush's plan for an anti- missile defense program known as "Star Wars."