Metro

Republican to formally announce challenge to Elizabeth Warren

( source: johnkingston.com ) -- FOR MUG only -- John Kingston -- Republicans seeking the nomination to oppose Democratic US Senator Elizabeth Warren next year ( 2018)
John Kingston

US Senate candidate John Kingston will officially begin his campaign Wednesday, calling US Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat, the “divider-in-chief” while promising “a different kind of Republican campaign.”

Kingston, a wealthy business executive who last year tried to block Donald Trump from becoming president by trying to clear the way for an independent candidate, called Warren “just way off that mainstream, focused on running for president, focused on being the head of the liberal left wing of the party, and I just think it’s time to send a message.”

“The state of the country is in such a serious crisis of unity and, you know, rather than looking for common cause for folks in Massachusetts . . . folks like Elizabeth Warren are driving wedges between Americans, essentially for political gain,” Kingston said in a phone interview Tuesday.

Advertisement

Kingston will headline what he said would be “perhaps the most diverse audience in a political kickoff in history” at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the US Senate in Dorchester.

Get Fast Forward in your inbox:
Forget yesterday's news. Get what you need today in this early-morning email.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

“We’re going there to the home turf of the Democrats to say, ‘You know what, nobody owns the Senate,’ ” Kingston said.

A June WBUR/MassINC poll found Warren in a solid position for reelection, with 55 percent of voters statewide viewing her favorably.

At least four Republicans are jockeying to challenge Warren next fall. Entrepreneur Shiva Ayyadurai, state representative Geoff Diehl, and longtime GOP operative Beth Lindstrom have all said they are running.

Kingston knocked his primary rivals Tuesday, saying, “Some of my opponents are either unelectable . . . or completely uninspiring.” Kingston has loaned his campaign $3 million, and called his “the only campaign account that is actually real. Everybody else’s is negligible or non-existent.”

Advertisement

Vowing “we’re going to end up winning the resources war,” Kingston waved off small donations, which can be laborious to gather but help exhibit broad support. “We’re not even doing low-dollar stuff,” Kingston said.

Kingston last year attempted to start a movement that would have offered an independent presidential candidate a path to oppose Trump if he won the nomination. The effort fizzled.

On Tuesday, Kingston saved his sharpest criticism for Warren, calling the first-term Democrat “one of the top five angriest people by anybody’s measure” and saying he did not want the race to be about Trump.

Kingston, who has been a major GOP fund-raiser and an ally of Governor Charlie Baker and former governor Mitt Romney, dismissed the notion that he is a moderate, saying, “I just don’t think it’s fair to my history.”

“I’m in that independent-minded, successful Massachusetts Republican vein,” Kingston said.

Jim O’Sullivan can be reached at jim.osullivan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JOSreports.