Gabriel Gomez, a former Navy SEAL, Navy pilot, and Boston businessman, has has won the Republican primary for US Senate in Massachusetts to replace Senator John Kerry.
Gomez, 47, defeated former US Attorney Michael Sullivan and former judge Daniel Winslow in the low-turnout primary. He is a graduate of the US Naval Academy and the son of Colombian immigrants.
Gomez. a political newcomer, will face Rep. Edward Markey, a career Democrat officeholder, in the June 25 special election. Markey defeated fellow Rep. Stephen Lynch.
Gomez ran this year’s Boston Marathon and crossed the finish line about 10 minutes before the bombs went off.
The Massachusetts Senate seat became vacant once Kerry was confirmed as US Secretary of State. Gov. Deval Patrick appointed placeholder Mo Cowan to the seat for the interim period.
In a surprise, former Senator Scott Brown (who was the upset winner in the 2010 special election after Ted Kennedy passed away but then lost in the 2012 general election) declined to run for the open seat, thereby clearing the field for other Republicans. “Even before the Marathon bombings, some observers suggested that Bay State voters were suffering from election fatigue, despite the state’s reputation for its love of politics … The popular Brown’s decision not to plunge back into a run for the special election for Kerry’s seat also took some of the zing out of the race.”
Gomez got into hot water with the Republican base by trying to suck up to Gov. Patrick and President Obama in angling to be appointed the interim senator. But with his primary victory, he has apparently overcome that hurdle.
Gomez could mount a strong, Scott Brown-like challenge to Markey despite Massachusetts being a blue state: ” …a Gomez-Markey matchup is not the one that most Democrats want. Because while Gomez has been bashed by conservatives for his moderate positions and his infamous letter begging Gov. Deval Patrick for an interim Senate appointment, he also has the money, looks and resume that the Markey campaign would rather avoid.”
Scott Brown was a little-known state senator and Army National Guard colonel before he skyrocketed to national prominence in the 2010 campaign. Gomez may begin receiving the same kind of attention/scrutiny between now and the June election.