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Merrimack Valley

March 21, 2013

U.S. Senate candidate pays visit to Lawrence

(Continued)

Michael Sullivan, the former U.S. attorney and Plymouth County district attorney, said he only supported granting illegal immigrants legal status, and that allowing for citizenship amounted to an amnesty.

“Amnesty is a word that is easily understood, and it means there’s no consequences. You’re being immunized,” Sullivan said yesterday. “It’s where you’re afforded all the benefits as if nothing happened, even pathway to citizenship. I think pathway to citizenship is amnesty.”

Aside from immigration, an important issue for many Hispanic voters and residents, Gomez said his party needed to go into urban areas to reach voters he said share his and his party’s support for individual freedom, smaller and effective government and personal responsibility.

“I think we can expand the typical map for the Republican Party,” he said. He recently made trips to Lowell, Holyoke and Somerville, and plans forays into Boston.

Nationally, the Republican Party recently released review of the party’s failures in the 2012 election came to somewhat similar conclusions, advocating embracing immigration reform and trying to appeal to women, minority and young voters.

Sullivan said reaching into urban areas is not a new idea, and pointed to his work and relationships in urban areas in Plymouth County when he served as district attorney.

“As a party we should make sure we’re doing more,” he said. “We should hit the concerns people face in cities, which are often the same as people in the suburbs, that their communities are safe, their kids have the opportunity to go to excellent schools and they have opportunities in terms of employment.”

Beyond those issues, Gomez said he favors a balanced budget amendment to the federal Constitution, term limits for representatives and senators in Congress and giving the president a line-item veto for individual budget items, a power many governors, including in Massachusetts, have. Currently, the president can only sign or veto an entire budget bill.

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