Are Bay State Republicans Giving Up on “the People’s Seat”?

Posted: Feb 21, 2013 8:00 AM

Nah, obviously not, but I say that because we learned on Wednesday that yet another semi-prominent Bay State Republican -- Sean Bielat -- will not run for the seat.

Is there anyone even left?

Republican Sean Bielat announced Wednesday that after mulling for less than a week, he will not join in the special election to replace Secretary of State John Kerry in the U.S. Senate.

The two-time congressional candidate said in an email to supporters that his candidacy never left the exploratory phase, although he recently filed papers with the Federal Election Commission as well as an official statement of candidacy for the Senate seat.

"The numbers looked pretty good and the fundraising went well so I think we could have mounted strong campaign but now is just not the right time for us," Bielat said. "After spending some time thinking it through with Hope, we decided running another campaign just wasn't a good fit for our family right now, given the age of our one and two year old children and their needs."

Bielat is well-known throughout the Bay State (and the nation, too, I suppose) as the former Marine officer who came unexpectedly close to unseating longtime Congressman Barney Frank in 2010. He came up short, of course, but not before making a name for himself and laying the foundation for his political career (although it’s worth pointing out that he later lost his second bid for Congress in 2012 to Joseph Kennedy III by a demoralizing, double-digit margin).

That being said, with Scott Brown, William Weld, Richard Tisei, and now Sean Bielat all opting to sit this race out -- who’s willing to step up to the plate and (presumably) take on Ed Markey? Well, there’s at least one candidate I think we should all start paying close attention to. Meet Gabriel Gomez, a Hispanic former Navy Seal and private equity investor:

We’ll be keeping two eyes on Gomez until June, as the run-up to the Republican primary will provide a lot more exposure to this promising contender. Remember, Scott Brown was a relatively unknown candidate when he ran for a U.S. Senate seat in 2009.

So who’s to say Mr. Gomez -- or some other candidate with limited current name recognition -- can’t do the same thing in 2013? We’ll see.

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