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Winslow becomes first Republican in Senate race

State Representative Daniel B. Winslow, a former judge and a onetime aide to Governor Mitt Romney, said Thursday he is entering the special election for the US Senate, the first ­Republican to officially declare his candidacy.

“I’m in,” Winslow said. He had said earlier that he was “99 percent” certain he would run.

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Winslow said he has donated $100,000 of his own money to jumpstart his campaign, which he estimated will cost between $4 million and $6 million.

On Monday, he said, he is flying to Washington to meet with Republicans on Capitol Hill and with the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which controls much of the party’s national fund-raising. Next month, Winslow said, he will resign from his law firm, Proskauer, where he is senior counsel in the litigation department.

“I’m going to be 100 percent running for the US Senate,” Winslow said. “This is a heavy lift. I’m going to give this race everything I’ve got.”

Winslow, 54, is a second-term state representative from Norfolk who served as ­Romney’s chief legal counsel from 2001 to 2005. Before that, he was a district court judge.

Other Republicans considering the race include Senate minority leader Bruce E. Tarr, former congressional candidate Sean Bielat, and Gabriel E. Gomez, a private equity investor and ex-Navy SEAL. Jon Fetherston, a former chair of the Ashland Board of Selectman, also plans to run.

Two US House members, Stephen F. Lynch and Edward J. Markey, are running on the Democratic side.

To qualify for the April 30 ballot, the candidates must gather 10,000 certified signatures by Feb. 27.

Michael Levenson can be reached at mlevenson@­globe.com. Follow him on ­Twitter @mlevenson.
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