BOSTON (AP) — Another Republican candidate has taken the first steps toward jumping into Massachusetts’ special U.S. Senate election.
Secretary of State William Galvin’s office confirmed yesterday that a representative for Cohasset businessman Gabriel Gomez requested nomination papers.
Gomez, a former Navy SEAL and newcomer to state politics, hasn’t returned repeated phone calls seeking comment on a possible run for the Senate seat left vacant by John Kerry’s resignation to become secretary of state.
Norfolk state Rep. Daniel Winslow became the first Republican to announce his candidacy last week. A candidacy by Gomez would force a GOP primary.
The first major hurdle facing both candidates is collecting the 10,000 voter signatures needed to get their names on the ballot. The deadline for submitting the signatures is Feb. 27.
Many high-profile Republicans, including former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown and former Gov. William Weld, have decided not to run. That has opened the field for lesser known candidates.
Other Republicans are still weighing a run, including Gloucester state Sen. Bruce Tarr and Governor’s Council member Jennie Caissie.
On the Democratic side, U.S. Reps. Edward Markey and Stephen Lynch have already announced their candidacies. Marisa DeFranco, who ran in last year’s Senate race but failed to make the primary ballot, is also considering running on the Democratic side.
Massachusetts Democrats quickly focused their criticism on Gomez, trying to tie him to failed Republican presidential candidate, former Gov. Mitt Romney.
They also faulted Gomez’s association with a group that faulted President Barack Obama for taking too much credit for the death of Osama bin Laden.
The group — Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund Inc. — produced a 22-minute video during last year’s presidential election criticizing Obama.
During an interview last year on MSNBC, Gomez credited Obama for giving the green light for the special operation to kill bin Laden but defended the video. Gomez, pointing to past presidents, said Obama should have given more credit to the troops and taken less credit for himself.