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Gomez promised to advance Obama agenda on guns, immigration

Gabriel Gomez

AP

Gabriel Gomez responded to a question at a Republican forum at Stonehill College Tuesday night.

Gabriel E. Gomez, a former Navy SEAL who is running for the Republican nomination for US Senate, promised to support President Obama’s agenda on immigration and gun control in a letter he wrote to Governor Deval Patrick in January asking him to appoint him to the interim Senate seat.

The Gomez campaign released the letter today, as well as some personal financial information showing that Gomez, a private equity investor from Cohasset, earned $8.5 million in adjusted gross income from 2007 to 2011.

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In his letter to Patrick, Gomez praises the Democratic governor’s “growing national reputation for bold and thoughtful leadership,” and argues that naming him to the seat could help bring the parties together.

“I fully understand that naming a moderate Republican like me would be completely unconventional,” Gomez says in the two-page letter dated January 17. “However, given the partisan and acrimonious atmosphere in the US Senate today, this is even more of a reason to consider appointing a moderate Republican with my background. I supported President Obama in 2008. I strongly believe that this appointment would be good for the Democrats as well since it is in everyone’s interest to have the two parties at the negotiating table.”

Gomez writes that, as a Latino and former Navy man, his appointment to the Senate will “generate national attention and senators from both parties would be hard-pressed to ignore your bold leadership.”

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Gomez hand-delivered the letter to Patrick’s chief of staff, Mo Cowan, whom Patrick ended up naming to the seat.

The letter could create problems for Gomez in the GOP primary because the seat was widely understood to be a Democratic placeholder and because of the warm words Gomez has for Obama and Patrick.

The letter also appears to contradict at least one policy position – on guns -- that Gomez has taken on the campaign trail.

In the letter, Gomez predicts that guns and immigration will dominate the debate during his appointed tenure and adds that, “I support the positions President Obama has taken on these issues and you can be assured I will keep my word and work on these issues as I have promised.”

Now, as a candidate for the Senate seat, Gomez says he opposes a federal assault weapons ban, a key element of Obama’s gun-control agenda.

In a statement today, Gomez defended his decision to seek the appointment to the Senate.

“Like many independent minded people, I believed Governor Patrick had an opportunity to reach across the aisle and appoint a new Republican voice to help solve our spending problem, and to represent all the people of Massachusetts,” he said. “So, I had the guts to ask him. The governor never responded. I decided to run for the U.S. Senate because our country is greater than our politics. I served my country before, and I’m ready to serve again.”

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