Gabriel Gomez, the former Navy SEAL and onetime GOP US Senate nominee, might be on the verge of creating more problems for state Republicans who are trying to unseat Democrat Elizabeth Warren.
Gomez, who has weaved in and out of the Republican voter registration lists over the last few years, is sending out signals he is considering running against Warren as an independent — a move that, by siphoning off anti-Warren votes, would probably drag down the GOP nominee in the general election.
That news couldn’t be more pleasing to Warren and her political team.
Gomez would be the second deep-pocketed former Republican in the general election — already an uphill battle for the GOP. Shiva Ayyadurai, a wealthy high-tech entrepreneur ready to spend his personal funds, dropped out of the Republican Senate primary several months ago to run as an independent in the fall election.
Gomez has shown he’s willing to use his financial resources — amassed in his venture capital career — to mount a respectable campaign. In 2013, as a political neophyte with virtually no name recognition, Gomez leaped over a field of several well-known Republicans to win the nomination in the special election to fill the seat John Kerry vacated to become US secretary of state.
Gomez, who from the beginning had a strained relationship with state GOP leaders, could not hold up that momentum in the final election against Democratic nominee Edward Markey. But Gomez pumped more than $900,000 of his own money into the campaign.
What’s more, his flirting with an independent candidacy is yet another pivot in his brief political history. He contributed to Barack Obama in 2008, then participated in a conspiracy film that attacked the then-president for taking too much credit for killing Osama bin Laden and not giving enough to the troops.
He ran as a Republican in 2013, but then he left the party and registered as a member of the United Independent Party in 2014.
He switched back to the GOP rolls in April, according to the town clerk in Cohasset, where he lives. Months later, he began considering running for the US Senate as a Republican.
But now his party registration is unclear. In a political program that aired last weekend, Gomez told WCVB that he has again changed his registration, leaving the Republican Party to once again become an independent.
But the Cohasset town clerk’s office says it has no record of his changing his registration since the most recent switch in April. If he had moved to another town and registered there, the Cohasset town clerk’s office would have been immediately notified to remove his name from the voting list, state and local election officials said.
Gomez did not respond to a message left on his phone.
But if he runs for Senate as an independent, he has to unenroll as a Republican and re-register as an independent by March 6 to qualify for the ballot in November.Frank Phillips can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.