In letter, Republican US Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez touts support of President Obama
Former Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez talks with Crystal Clarke and her son Evan while having breakfast at Brody's Diner in Shrewsbury, Mass. Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013 while kicking off his Republican campaign for the Senate seat vacated by now Secretary of State John Kerry. Gomez, Norfolk state Rep. Daniel Winslow and former U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan all say they've collected enough signatures to get on the April 30 Republican primary ballot. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson) Purchase photo reprints »
Former Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez smiles while talking with reporters outside Brody's Diner in Shrewsbury, Mass. Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013 while kicking off his Republican campaign for the Senate seat vacated by now Secretary of State John Kerry. Gomez, Norfolk state Rep. Daniel Winslow and former U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan all say they've collected enough signatures to get on the April 30 Republican primary ballot. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson) Purchase photo reprints »
BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts Republican U.S. Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez touted his past support of Democratic President Barack Obama and said he backed Obama’s positions on gun control and immigration reform in a January letter to Gov. Deval Patrick.
Gomez now says he opposes reinstatement of an assault weapons ban, which Obama has been pushing. At the time, Gomez was trying to persuade Patrick to appoint him on an interim basis to the Senate seat left vacant by the resignation of John Kerry.
In the letter, Gomez cast himself as a “moderate Republican” whose appointment would be good for Democrats and said he supported Obama in 2008. An aide said Gomez was referring to a donation he made to Obama’s campaign in 2008, but that he voted for Republicans John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012.
“This appointment would be the ultimate demonstration of bipartisanship,” Gomez wrote.
Gomez also wrote that the “two main issues that will dominate the political discussion during this appointment will be immigration reform and gun control.”
“Given my Latino and Navy SEAL background, I have high credibility to contribute thoughtfully on these issues,” Gomez wrote. “I support the positions that President Obama has taken on these issues, and you can be assured that I will keep my word and work on these issues as I have promised.”
Patrick ultimately appointed one of his close former aides, William “Mo” Cowan, to the interim post.
Gomez then decided to run in the special election, where he has broken with Obama on the issue of the assault weapons ban.
During a debate Tuesday night at Stonehill College, Gomez said the 1994 assault weapons didn’t achieve its goals.
“I don’t believe that we need to do an assault weapons (ban),” Gomez said.
A Gomez aide said Wednesday that Gomez in the letter only meant he was willing to work with Obama and bring those issues to the table, but that he didn’t back a specific policy agenda supported by the president.
One of Gomez’ GOP rivals, Norfolk state Rep. Daniel Winslow, said the letter “reveals many contradictions that show Gomez has been double-dealing with the voters of Massachusetts.”
Former U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan also is running in the Republican primary.