John Kerry’s old Senate seat may go Latino.
Businessman Gabriel Gomez hopes to secure the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat left vacant when Kerry joined the Obama administration as Secretary of State. A poll released last week showed Gomez had come from behind to take a narrow lead over the other two conservatives vying for the nomination, former U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan and state State Rep. Daniel Winslow, according to MassLive.com
For a Republican Party hoping to reach out to Latinos to make up for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s poor performance, Gomez has an attractive profile.
The son of Colombian immigrants, Gomez served as a Navy Seal before embarking on a career in business. The 47-year-old private equity executive holds an MBA from Harvard.
Gomez presents himself as a small-government conservative big on fiscal discipline but open on social issues, particularly immigration.
“I’m with Marco Rubio on this in terms of you need to secure the border first,” Gomez said in a recorded interview with the editorial board of The Republican, a Massachusetts newspaper. “It’s not just an immigration issue, it’s actually a national security issue as well.”
Gomez also said that he supported a pathway to citizenship.
“It can’t be an easy path, but it can’t be an impossible path,” Gomez said. “This isn’t just a moral issue anymore, this is an economic issue.”
Gomez said that to qualify for citizenship, undocumented immigrants should have to learn English, integrate within American society, and "embrace the idea of America and pledge allegiance."
Though running for the Republican nomination, Gomez donated money to Barack Obama’s primary campaign in 2008, according to Fox News Latino.
There are three Latino senators in the U.S. Congress -- Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) -- all of whom are Cuban-American.
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