State Representative Geoff Diehl co-chaired President Trump’s campaign in Massachusetts and has been one of the White House’s most vocal supporters in the state.
Now, it’s Diehl’s turn to get help from Trump — or at least his former mouthpiece.
Sean Spicer, the short-lived and often-parodied former White House press secretary, will headline a $250-per-head fund-raiser downtown next month for Diehl’s US Senate campaign.
Holly Robichaud, a Diehl spokeswoman, said the campaign is hoping to draw 50 to 60 people to the April 12 event at the Union Oyster House, where Spicer is billed as a “special guest” speaker.
Spicer endured a tumultuous six-month stint as Trump’s first press secretary before leaving last year amid an internal dispute with newly named communications director Anthony Scaramucci, whose own 10-day tenure was famously shorter.
But Spicer’s time was, in many ways, unforgettable in the pantheon of White House spokespeople.
On Trump’s first full day in office, he chastised reporters over coverage of the crowd size at the president’s inauguration, and soon became a regular character, as played by Melissa McCarthy, on “Saturday Night Live.”
A Rhode Island native, Spicer resurfaced in New England last fall, serving as a visiting fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics.
But even that stint wasn’t without controversy: Spicer reportedly kept his events off the record, prompting student criticism that they were secretive — if not ironic, given his former gig. Harvard officials said Spicer wasn’t the only visiting fellow to have off-the-record talks.
That Diehl, a Whitman Republican, is enlisting Spicer’s help isn’t surprising. Diehl was co-chair of Trump’s 2016 campaign locally, and attended Trump’s inauguration the following January.
Robichaud said the campaign confirmed last week that Spicer would attend. Asked if she expected more people from Trump’s orbit to drop into the campaign, she declined comment. “We have a lot of good endorsements coming,” she said.
Diehl is now a strong favorite to win next month’s Republican convention endorsement. He’s running in the GOP primary against Beth Lindstrom, a longtime activist in state Republican Party politics, and wealthy businessman John Kingston.
The winner will challenge incumbent Democrat Elizabeth Warren this fall.Reach Matt Stout at email@example.com. Follow him on twitter @mattpstout