BOSTON — In his concession speech Tuesday night after losing the special U.S. Senate election to Democrat Edward Markey, Republican Gabriel Gomez said he was proud of his first major political bid and hinted that we will see him in public life again.
“I never had notes anywhere I went,” Gomez said. “And I didn’t memorize this concession speech, because I didn’t think I was going to have to give it.”
Gomez’s speech was often personal, and he choked up as he prepared to thank his wife, Sarah.
“Now there is one person in this room that I need to thank more than any other person,” Gomez said. “I couldn’t have accomplished any of this without the most amazing woman in the world.”
The only other times on the campaign trail Gomez has been visibly moved was when he addressed his fellow veterans. They were a big part of his campaign, and in his speech he took responsibility for his loss as he spoke to them directly.
“And to all the great veterans in this commonwealth, I apologize for coming up short on this mission,” Gomez said, adding that in the military, he learned that not every fight is a fair fight.
“Sometimes you face overpowering force,” Gomez said. “We were massively overspent. We went out literally against the whole national Democratic Party.”
And with little help from the national Republican Party. But Gomez’s campaign does not regret the fact that he did not sign the so-called “People’s Pledge” with Markey, shunning television ads from outside groups. The Gomez team believes that would have put them at a disadvantage because outside money would still have poured in to pay for other forms of voter outreach for Democrats.
To a large extent, campaigns are about geography. Republicans do well in the suburbs, Democrats in the cities. The Gomez campaign did not expect Markey to energize the turnout he did in the cities. But Gomez did not blame money or turnout for his defeat.
“I offer absolutely no excuses for coming up short,” Gomez said.
Gomez put politics in perspective when he said he wanted to dwell on the most important moment in this campaign, one that largely overshadowed this race.
“It’s what happened on Patriots’ Day,” Gomez said. “We saw a cowardly group of terrorists and we reacted the way America reacts. We’re indeed a strong people. I was one of the fortunate ones that day who had finished shortly before the bombs went off, and my heart still goes out to the families of those who died and the families of the ones hurt that day.”
Gomez gave no indication of his future plans. But on the campaign trail, he has hinted at big political ambitions. He has expressed a desire to transform the Republican Party to bring it more in line with young Americans’ attitudes on social issues. As he was greeting friends and supporters Tuesday night, he promised that we would see him again soon.