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Tea Party member in bid for Mass. governor

Shrewsbury political novice to challenge Baker

In a press release, Mark R. Fisher says he “will run on a traditional conservative agenda.”

Betty Jenewin/Worcester Telegram and Gazette

In a press release, Mark R. Fisher says he “will run on a traditional conservative agenda.”

A Republican who aligns himself with the Tea Party formally kicked off his campaign for governor Monday evening.

Shrewsbury resident Mark R. Fisher, a 55-year-old political novice, launched his bid Monday with a speech about his “conservative platform” at an Auburn steakhouse, according to his website and a campaign aide.

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Fisher faces former health care executive Charlie Baker in the race for the Republican nomination.

While Baker, the 2010 GOP nominee for governor, is expected to be his party’s standard bearer, a primary opponent from the right could be a political headache for him.

Baker has emphasized a socially moderate, fiscally conservative political profile.

A challenge from the more conservative wing of the party may upset the careful balancing act that Republicans running statewide in Massachusetts need to win.

A Baker spokesman, Tim Buckley, declined to comment on Fisher’s candidacy.

On his website, Fisher calls himself a “Tea Party member” and appears in a photograph holding a tea bag-bearing mug adorned with the GOP elephant symbol.

Fisher campaign manager Deb McCarthy repeatedly declined to make Fisher available for an interview to outline his policy positions prior to his event late Monday.

“He’s not speaking to anyone until he gives his speech,” she said.

In a press release, his campaign said Fisher would focus on several issues in his bid, “including lower taxes, elimination of all tolls on state roads and highways, job creation, gun rights, health care, and illegal immigration.

“He describes himself as a full-platform Republican and will run on a traditional conservative agenda,” the press release said.

Fisher is married, and he and his wife have two children, according to his website.

Fisher filed paperwork with the state’s Office of Campaign and Political Finance on Nov. 18.

Five Democrats are running to succeed Governor Deval Patrick, who has said he will not run for a third term. They are: Attorney General Martha Coakley; state Treasurer Steven Grossman; Donald M. Berwick, a former Obama administration health care official; Joseph C. Avellone, a biotechnology executive; and Juliette Kayyem, a former state and federal homeland security official.

Two independent candidates have also launched bids: Evan Falchuk, a business executive, and Evangelical Christian pastor Scott Lively.

Investment banker Jeffrey S. McCormick, an independent, is also considering a run for the corner office.

Joshua Miller can be reached at joshua.miller@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jm_bos.
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