BOSTON -- When Massachusetts Democrats and Republicans went to the polls Tuesday to choose John F. Kerry’s successor in the U.S. Senate, they selected a seasoned Bay State Democrat to face off against a young, fresh-faced Republican with no political experience.

Sound familiar? It should.

In 2010, GOP upstart Scott Brown faced off with Democratic attorney general, Martha Coakley in a special election to succeed the late Edward M. Kennedy. Brown trounced Coakley, delivering a high-profile rebuke of President Obama at the height of debate over health-care reform, and a stinging defeat for Massachusetts Democrats, who had held the Senate seat for generations.

This year, Democrats vow not to commit the same mistakes.