Metro

Entrepreneur Shiva Ayyadurai will run for Senate as an independent

Shiva Ayyadurai.
John Tlumacki/Globe Staff/File 2017
Shiva Ayyadurai.

The field of Republicans vying to unseat Democratic US Senator Elizabeth Warren just got smaller.

Entrepreneur Shiva Ayyadurai, who had been campaigning as a Republican, announced Saturday that he planned run as an independent.

“We dumped the Republican party in Massachusetts,” Ayyadurai said in a telephone interview.

Advertisement

“We’ve declared our independence.”

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

He made the announcement during a campaign event at a hotel in Marlborough.

Ayyadurai, who had registered as a Republican earlier this year, had been facing a primary challenge from three candidates: Wealthy businessman and Republican donor John Kingston , state Representative Geoff Diehl , and longtime party operative Beth Lindstrom .

Ayyadurai, 53, of Belmont, said he plans to change his party affiliation to unenrolled. He backed President Trump in 2016.

His campaign is focused on creating better jobs, promoting a direct-pay health care system, and reforming campaign finance, Ayyadurai said.

Advertisement

As of Sept. 30, Ayyadurai’s campaign had nearly $75,000 on hand, records show. He has raised nearly $1.3 million, much of which he financed himself.

Ayyadurai holds four degrees from MIT and claims to have invented e-mail. His assertion has been disputed by some technology historians and computer engineers who say early versions of e-mail date back to 1965 when Ayyadurai was a toddler.

A spokeswoman for Diehl’s campaign said Ayyadurai’s announcement was a “desperation move by a failing candidate.” Warren’s campaign spokeswoman declined to comment.

Representatives for Lindstrom and Kingston didn’t immediately respond to inquiries.

Laura Crimaldi can be reached at laura.crimaldi@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @lauracrimaldi.