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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Going Gomez

Republican insiders hope they have lightning in a bottle with a rugged ex-Navy Seal ready to assume the mantle lost by Scott Brown last year. But Gabriel Gomez may not be the great GOP hope they think he is.

Touted as one of the people behind a film sharply critical of Barack Obama for taking undue credit over the assassination of Osama bin Laden, the Boston Phoenix reported that Gomez has not always been anti-Obama -- ponying up $230 for the then-Democratic hopeful in 2007. He also dropped $1,000 in the last Senate special election -- on Democrat Alan Khazei.

And that may not sit well with the GOP faithful who will be approached en masse by professional signature collectors between now and Feb. 27, the deadline for collecting 10,000 certified signatures to make it onto the April 30 special election primary ballot.

Gomez may be banking on a GOP "brain trust" that includes national committeeman Ron Kaufman to get him the No. 1 seed in a race that is expected to include Norfolk representative Dan Winslow and perhaps others.

But Winslow, albeit unknown beyond his district and Twitter, has a record likely to appeal to more diehard Republicans, particularly his service as legal counsel to Mitt Romney. And he has a week's head start on Gomez in the signature-gathering challenge that prompted Democrat Steve Lynch to send volunteers out into the blizzard to snag potential voters.

One thing is clear at this early stage. Unlike the high-volume, high stakes race for the "People's Seat" in 2010, this campaign is going to develop slowly. And the conditions that helped to spawn the Brown upset appear to be lacking this time around.

In fact, with the impending budget sequester and other high stakes gambits likely to emerge from the Washington-based GOP, the situation could be setting up to reject anyone who too closely aligns himself with the GOP brand.

Look what happened to Brown, who ran away from the label, aided and abetted by the lack of a primary.

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