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.
“We’ve declared our independence.”
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @lauracrimaldi.