Mass. GOP Senate hopeful slams own party - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Mass. GOP Senate hopeful slams own party

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BOSTON (AP) - Gabriel Gomez, the Republican candidate in a special election for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, took his own party to task Monday, saying the GOP has failed to deliver the change it promised and is "sometimes stuck in the past."

In a bid to win over independent voters in a state that votes heavily Democratic, Gomez said Republicans need to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

"One of the things I am going to change in Washington is my own party," Gomez said in remarks prepared for delivery at a campaign stop in Quincy. "I am fully aware that in a few months from now, some in the Republican Party will consider me to be a pain in the butt. And I am OK with that."

The Cohasset businessman and former Navy SEAL cited several positions that he said put him at odds with national party leaders, including his support for gay marriage, immigration reform and environmental protections.

"Right now, the GOP is a party that has promised more change than it has delivered and is sometimes stuck in the past," he said.

Gomez, a political newcomer, faces veteran Democratic U.S. Rep. Edward Markey in the June 25 election to fill the Senate seat formerly held by Secretary of State John Kerry.

Democrats quickly dismissed Gomez's attempt to put distance between himself and the party, and launched online ads Monday that pointed to a fundraising appeal sent on Gomez's behalf last week by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

In an email, McConnell said the election of Gomez was "crucial" to Republicans retaking control of the Senate.

Democrats also cited a number of issues in which they said he sided with the national GOP, including opposition to abortion and a ban on assault weapons.

Gomez describes himself as "pro-life" on abortion but has said he would not seek to change current law. Democrats have faulted him for not taking a position on some abortion-related issues.

The Republican has said he supports wider background checks for gun sales but does not back an assault weapons ban on constitutional grounds.

Markey was scheduled to campaign later Monday with Caroline Kennedy at a senior center outside Boston. According to the Markey campaign, the Democrat planned to criticize Gomez for supporting changes in Social Security that would result in cuts for current and future retirees.

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