Gabriel Gomez — the former Navy SEAL, turned private equity investor, turned failed GOP US Senate candidate — is getting more serious about taking another shot at a Senate seat.
And it’s a move that could be a game-changer in the Republican party’s 2018 selection of Elizabeth Warren’s opponent.
GOP sources say Gomez, who lost to US Senator Edward J. Markey in a 2013 special election, is talking to Republicans about potentially joining the race, which already includes three major candidates. According to his political adviser, Gomez could make up his mind in the next few months.
His presence in the GOP race would be significant. He would be the only candidate with the experience of running statewide, and he has some personal wealth to get his candidacy off the ground.
But it’s a bit tough getting it from the horse’s mouth. Gomez hung up on a reporter seeking comment on his plans.
“I don’t have time to talk to you; I am going somewhere with my wife,’’ he said, putting his phone down.
However, his political adviser, Lenny Alcivar, confirms that Gomez, who ended his US Senate race with a tense relationship with the state GOP, will make a final decision as early as November.
“He is actively considering it,’’ Alcivar said. “He is having active discussions and is committed to talking [to] party leaders across the state.”
Gomez’s problems with his party date back to when, having never run for office, he appeared on the political scene in 2013 and upset a few of the party’s more tenured primary candidates. He excited party operatives, but, displaying the usual missteps of a first-time candidate, he flopped in the general election, losing to Markey by a 10-point margin.
Since then, Gomez has never held to a strict partisan path. After the race, he backed an independent in an critical three-way legislative race, denounced then-presidential nominee Donald Trump, and has not been shy about tweeting nice words about Democrats.
Now he might muddle up the state GOP establishment’s hopes to block state Representative Geoff Diehl, an ardent supporter of Trump’s, from winning the nomination. The Republican nominee for US Senate will share a ticket with Governor Charlie Baker in 2018.
In a primary, Gomez and two other major candidates — veteran GOP activists and ex-state official Beth Lindstrom and wealthy businessman John Kingston — would be dividing up the increasingly limited moderate base, possibly boosting Diehl.
However, just getting on the ballot could be the biggest hurdle. The GOP convention rules requires that candidates need to get 15 percent of delegates’ support to appear on the September primary ballot.Frank Phillips can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.