PEPPERELL -- Pepperell residents voted in favor of republican candidate Gabriel Gomez in Tuesday's special Senate election over the competing democrat.

Gomez received 61.5 percent of the vote in Pepperell, while democrat Ed Markey received 37.9 percent.

About four-tenths of a percent went to Twelve Visions Party candidate Richard Heos.

Total voter turnout was 28.7 percent, with 2,281 votes cast out of 7,958 registered voters.

Town Clerk Jeffrey Sauer said voter turnout was higher than he had expected.

"You'd like to think that when Americans are electing a senator, voter turnout would be 80 to 90 percent, but I guess I'd have to confess to being pleasantly surprised by Pepperell's near 30 percent turnout on a hot day in late June. From what I've heard, that's a better commitment to the process than much of the state."

At Varnum Brook Elementary School, voters supporting both candidates trickled in at a steady pace throughout the afternoon.

Carol Murdock, 66, said she votes in every election in honor of her uncle, who was killed during World War II.

"I vote no matter what. People lost their lives so I could do this. How could I not vote? That would be a slap in their face," she said.

Markey supporter Monica Lender, 46, said she supports Markey's views on nearly every issue and Gomez "had nothing to offer."

Joe Ampolo, 61, said he voted for Gomez because of the Republican party's underrepresentation in Massachusetts.

"Massachusetts woefully needs a two-party system, which it no longer has," Ampolo said.

Chairman of the Pepperell Republican Town Committee, Nathan Lamb, 23, was supporting Gomez outside of the school for several hours on Tuesday.

He said he was pleased with the turnout he had seen for Gomez, but that although he was confident, it would be difficult to predict the winner of the election.

"It comes down to who is excited to vote and who is complacent," Lamb said.

In the end, Markey took the day.

Follow Chelsea Feinstein at Twitter.com/CEFeinstein.