WBUR

Gabriel Gomez Weighs His Next Move

Former Republican U.S. Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez at his home in Cohasset (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Former Republican U.S. Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez at his home in Cohasset (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

COHASSET, Mass. — For someone trying to make a big decision, Gabriel Gomez appears relaxed. The former U.S. Senate candidate is trying to decide whether to stay in public life or return to the private sector.

“My passion is to serve, so I’m probably leaning more toward the public sector than the private sector,” Gomez said in the kitchen of his home that sits just off the town common in Cohasset, Mass.

The Republican lost to Sen. Ed Markey in a special election to fill the seat of Secretary of State John Kerry. Since then, he says he’s been talking to for-profit and nonprofit companies about helping them with strategies, but he says he won’t take a private-sector job only to start running for public office soon after.

But which office?

“One thing I learned from the campaign is you just got to be yourself. You just got to tell people exactly what you feel.”
– Gabriel Gomez

Gomez says he hasn’t yet ruled out running for governor or lieutenant governor. He’s met with former Republican candidate for governor Charlie Baker, but says Baker has not asked him to run alongside him in 2014.

“My understanding is he’s going to run for governor [in 2014,] which is great because he’d be a great governor,” Gomez said. “He has not asked me to be his candidate, his partner on that.”

Gomez is also thinking about state treasurer.

“My background fits very well with the state treasurer position. You’re dealing with the lottery, you’re dealing with pensions, you’re dealing with the school system,” Gomez said. “I think a person with a business background is best suited for the treasurer role among all the other people that could be considered.”

But it’s clear from the issues Gomez wants to talk about — immigration reform, background checks on gun purchases, Trayvon Martin and student loans — that he is most interested in national issues.

When asked if he’d consider running against Rep. Stephen Lynch next year, Gomez said yes, but added that he has not thought much about it. He is, however, thinking about another bid against Sen. Markey. Gomez says he lost fair and square in the June special election, but as he looks back on their last race, he can see how he would run a better one next time.

“I would have taken back the ‘pond scum’ comment [about Markey,]” Gomez said in reference to a comment he made in an interview with an NPR reporter. “It just wasn’t me. It was one of the times in the campaign when I let my emotions get the better of me.”

Gomez says he also should have made it clear that he opposed the Blunt amendment, which would have allowed employers to opt out of providing birth control coverage on moral grounds, and the Stupak amendment, which would have forbidden using federal funds to cover abortions.

“My position got muddled significantly during the campaign and I should have just answered the questions that came out regarding the amendment, whether it was the Blunt amendment or the Stupak amendment, and said that I would not have voted for either one of those amendments,” Gomez said. “I think I got a little too concerned about what they were going to do depending on what I was going to say regarding those, and I should have just been up front.

“One thing I learned from the campaign is you just got to be yourself,” Gomez added. “You just got to tell people exactly what you feel.”

Gomez says he should also have been clearer about his opposition to cutting Social Security or Medicare for anyone close to retirement. He laments allowing Democrats to define his positions with a massive ad campaign before he could define himself.

Gomez says he was not able to raise money quickly enough to match Markey. The next campaign, he says, would allow him to do that.

“Obviously it would be a longer campaign, and we would be addressing the issues that we just talked about, to be more clear on those issues, and also to meet more people,” Gomez said.

As Gomez weighs his options, he is meeting with a lot of people — from fellow Republican candidates to union leaders. He says he’ll make his decision sooner rather than later, but he doesn’t want to rush; he says he wants to make sure that whatever he does next, it’s where his passion lies.

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  • Flitzy

    How about his next move being ‘going away’? The last thing the world needs is more extreme right politicians.

    (Although, if I had a guess, I think he’ll probably be right there with Scott Brown on Fox in a couple of months.)

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      you think gomez is an extreme right republican?

      • Vandermeer

        The Republican Party right now IS “extreme right”. They’ve lost their way. The Republican Party which used to offer a a sensible other way to look at an issue is now dominated by social and financial righties that will “primary” anyone who wants to compromise and lead the country and compromise to do it. Gomez spouted the Republican Mantra throughout his campaign. Flizy, I don’t think he would do well on Fox, Gomez is just too inarticulate.

        • GCabot

          Speaking as a MA independent, this kind of nonsensical knee-jerk branding of all Republicans as extreme-right Tea Party types when candidates like Brown and Gomez clearly weren’t, is exactly the sort of hyperbole that could potentially cause another Coakley in the future. It’s fine if you disagree with someone’s political positions, but resorting to childish and obviously inaccurate broad-stroke labeling is only going to hurt your own cause.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            that’s what I meant to say

          • Patrick Frank

            Couldn’t agree with you more, I’m as Democrat as they come, and I eventually voted for Markey but I was more impressed with Gomez then I thought I would be. I hope he runs for Congress or Gov, I would consider voting for him, its tough with Senate where a vote for even a moderate republican is a vote for mitch mcconnell’s senate leadership.

          • Vandermeer

            So why are you a Democrat… do you vote for stands on issues? If so, how was Gomez impressive? I’m just wondering. His stands were the opposite of Democrats who are environmentally conscious, against expanding wars, and pro investing into the infrastructure and regulating financial institutes (e.g. reestablishing the Glass Steagall act.) With all respect, what was impressive about Gomez?

          • Patrick Frank

            He is clearly a political novice. As a result when I did here him speak, I heard him speak instead of just consultants. I agree with you on most of the positions, again, I voted (and canvassed) for Markey. What I liked about Gomez was that he seemed like a reasonable human whom I happened to disagree with. I feel the same way about Christie. The opposite would be Scott Brown whom also tries to cultivate an image a moderate, but thats all it is, an image. I respect people that I disagree with as often as possible, and I haven’t seen or heard anything from Gomez yet that makes me think he was acting in bad faith.

            Again, I didn’t say I’d vote for him, but I will always listen to the people on the other side and give them their say.

            Hope that helps answer your question.

          • Patrick Frank

            Terrible grammar in that post, sorry!

          • Vandermeer

            GCabot, I look at the stands of Republicans on the issues and how they vote in the Congress… I base my opinions on the facts not spinal thinking… find one issue that Gomez didn’t ape the Republicans on… also, check out what has happened to moderate Republicans who have compromised… read the newspapers. And your name calling … “nonsensical”, “knee-jerk”, “hyberbole “, “childish” doesn’t exonerate you from your own HYPERBOLE.

          • GCabot

            Seriously? Off the top of my head, Gomez broke with the national party on gay marriage, illegal immigration, gun control, abortion, women’s rights, climate change, the minimum wage, and general bipartisanship. I’m sure there were plenty of other stark differences between Gomez and the Republican national platform if you had actually cared to look at the “facts” as you so call them. Perhaps you should make an attempt to actually look at things objectively, before you further hoist yourself on your own petard.

            That moderate Republicans in other states have faced primary challenges from the far right is completely irrelevant. No far right candidate would have any chance of winning any kind of statewide election in Massachusetts.

      • Flitzy

        He’s an anti-science, pro-drilling, second amendment gun nut in favour of letting corporations do whatever they please while opposing anything that would help the middle class such as not-for-profit education or health care. That doesn’t even get into the fact that he is even more gung-ho for a war with Iran than Bush was.

        Yeah, he’s pretty much extreme right with the rest of them.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          its all relative. michelle bachman he aint

  • Vandermeer

    I like to read some honest off the cuff comments from any politician… these days candidates are totally scripted and controlled depending on the views of their financial supporters. I heard Gomez aping the Republican mantra on everything… that doesn’t show a thoughtful leader just someone who has an ego and want the power of the office. I would suggest Gomez find some gravitas too to become a US Senator from Massachusetts. That will take perhaps a couple decades of true civic service.

  • J__o__h__n

    If he runs against Markey again, what makes him think that he is going to get more money? He will be running against an incumbent Democratic senator who he already lost to in a regular election with a strong demand for Republican money for senate races in more competitive states.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      perhaps by then Bloomberg will have moved on to banning something else and not give markey so much money

    • http://www.wbur.org/people/fthys Fred Thys

      Two things could turn his way: more time to raise the money, and money up front from the National Republican Senatorial Committee. This time, the general election was more than a third over before he saw support from the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

  • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

    make him the cook, then if we are ever “under siege” they will never see him coming

  • gggreggg

    until, if ever, the republicans escape the thrall of the tea party know nothings, I personally,. can never vote republican, now matter how qualified a particular candidate might be!!!!!~

  • FrancisMcManus

    If Gomez had half of the good sense he wants you to think he has, he would no longer be Republican. RI Gov. Chaffee gets that, and so does anyone whose ambition doesn’t blind their good sense. Republicans, in 2013, need a pathologist, not a new message.

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