Gomez, Still Mulling Another Campaign, Addresses National Republicans

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Gabriel Gomez hasn't yet said whether he intends to mount another campaign, but if he does, the Republican National Committee represents Republicans from across the country who could be very useful if he needs an introduction into a nationwide network of donors. He addressed the base of that network at a RNC reception in South Boston Wednesday night.

On his way into the reception, Ron Kaufman, a longtime Republican National Committee member from Massachusetts, explained what the RNC summer meeting being held in Boston this year really is.

"Consider the RNC a billion-dollar corporation over four years," Kaufman said. "That's basically what we raise, a billion dollars over four years. The members ... are in fact the board of directors. So this is actually a board meeting."

The reception was closed to the press, but members of the RNC discussed his speech as they came out.

"He is well-spoken," said Morton Blackwell, a committee member from Virginia. "It was not a public policy kind of a speech. It was a warm, human speech, and the man has some charisma."

Republicans have spoken much since the defeat of presidential candidate Mitt Romney last year of their need to appeal to Latinos.

Rose Tripp, a committee member from New Mexico, the state with the highest percentage of Latinos, thinks common people would relate to Gomez.

"That's what we need, is people who can relate to something they can believe in, and I really think he's got that talent," Tripp said.

The RNC members were enthusiastic about helping Gomez. If Republicans are to win here in Massachusetts and nationwide, they need independent voters. Matt Borges knows about independent voters. He recently beat back a Tea Party challenger to become the new chairman of the Republican Party in the ultimate swing state, Ohio.

"Gabriel Gomez is terrific," Borges said. "We actually deployed a couple of busloads of volunteers to come from Ohio to help out. They were in Framingham and Natick going door to door and helping out in the waning days of the campaign."

Dave Weston, chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party, predicted Gomez would be able to draw on financial support from the rest of country if he runs again.

"Hopefully, Mr. Gomez will keep firing away," Weston said.

Bill Armistead, chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, actually went up to Gomez to encourage him to run.

"I'm quite impressed with him," Armistead said. "He's a young, dynamic fellow that has all the right philosophies and principles that align with the Republican Party. I'm from Alabama and so very conservative. I like what he stands for and hope he'll run again. We need people like him. We need to raise up a new generation of Republican leaders and I think he's one of those that we can depend upon."

From all these comments, it appears Gomez's first appearance before the board of the billion-dollar corporation that is the national Republican Party was a success.

This program aired on August 15, 2013.

Fred Thys Reporter
Fred Thys reported on politics and higher education for WBUR.



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