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Massachusetts

Where the Bay State's Senate Candidates Stand on the Issues

Retirement security top concerns for Brown, Warren

Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren compete for the Senate seat in Massachusetts in 2012

In Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren is challenging Scott Brown for his Senate seat. Both say they want to protect Social Security and Medicare. — Photo by AP

Retirement security

Regarding retirement security, Brown said he wants to cut deficits and keep a strong economy so workers can set aside money.

Warren said she is committed to exposing and fighting the economic vulnerability of older Americans and has stood up to the largest financial institutions to protect Americans of all ages.

The two will square off Nov. 6 as Brown seeks to win a full six-year term. He came to office in February 2010 by defeating Attorney General Martha Coakley (D) in a special election to succeed the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D).

Brown, a graduate of Boston College Law School, presents himself as an everyman, someone who drives a pickup truck. Ads this year have featured his wife describing him as a supportive husband and father.

Brown serves on four Senate committees: Armed Services; Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs; Small Business; and Veterans' Affairs.

Warren touts herself as someone who came from a middle-class family and worked her way up to teaching at Harvard Law School. She has taught law for more than 30 years and has written nine books. She helped establish the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

50+ voter turnout

Medicare and Social Security are traditional concerns of 50-plus voters, who are an important voting bloc in most elections, said Maurice T. Cunningham, an associate professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts at Boston and a founder of the nonpartisan MassPoliticsProfs.com blog.

"It's a reliable turnout," he said.

The next president and Congress will likely determine the future of Social Security and Medicare.

That's why AARP Massachusetts President Linda Fitzgerald has been crisscrossing the state as part of You've Earned a Say to let people speak their minds regarding the programs.

"We'd like the conversation about Medicare and Social Security to come up from the bottom, not top down," she said.

To learn more about the candidates' positions and to read the AARP Massachusetts Voters' Guide, go to the AARP Massachusetts website or call 1-866-448-3621 toll-free for a printed copy of the voters' guide.

Jean Lang is a freelance writer from Milton, Mass.

You may also like: An encore career, dream job in Massachusetts.

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The latest poll has Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown in a dead heat, with 48 percent backing Brown and 47 percent backing Democratic challenger Warren.

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