Gabriel E. Gomez, the Cohasset businessman who is running as a Republican in the US Senate special election, lobbied Democratic Governor Deval Patrick to give him the temporary appointment to the seat after John F. Kerry resigned to become secretary of state.
Gomez’s campaign confirmed that Gomez, a wealthy private equity manager from Cohasset, made the appeal to the governor because he wanted to give Patrick a chance to display a bipartisan spirit.
“Gabriel is not a politician,’’ aide Lenny Alcivar said in a statement to the Globe. “Like many independent-minded people, he believed the governor had an opportunity to reach across the aisle and appoint a new face to help address our crushing debt and to represent all the people of Massachusetts. So he had the guts to ask him.’’
Alcivar did not offer any more details.
Gomez’s outreach to Patrick, for what was widely considered a Democratic appointment to support the party’s agenda, could create an issue for Gomez in the GOP primary. He made it just as he was laying groundwork to seek his party’s nomination in the special US Senate election.
Gomez’s political activities appear to span the ideological spectrum. Although he is a longtime registered Republican, Gomez donated money to Barack Obama in 2008 and to liberal Senate candidate Alan Khazei in 2009. Gomez, a former Navy SEAL, also joined with a right-wing group of Navy SEALs last August to denounce Obama, claiming he and his administration were leaking information about Osama Bin Laden’s death to help the president politically.
Some of those involved in the organization, known as OPSEC, are outspoken critics of Obama, questioning whether he was born in the United States, implying he is a Muslim, and charging that he was carrying out a socialist agenda.
Patrick rejected Gomez’s request, along with a host of others, and appointed his former chief of staff William “Mo” Cowan to fill the seat until voters choose a replacement for Kerry.
A Patrick aide said the governor would not confirm or deny Gomez’s interest, because Patrick has kept the process of choosing an interim Senate confidential.
Frank Phillips can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.