Businessman and former Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez (R) will run in the special Senate election in Massachusetts, he announced Tuesday morning. Gomez is the second Republican to enter the race.
“In my military career, at the U.S. Naval Academy, as a Navy aircraft carrier pilot, and as a Navy SEAL, I learned one thing above all else -- serving others is more important than being served,” Gomez said in a statement.
Gomez is the son of Colombian immigrants, and he begins and ends a Web video announcing his candidacy by speaking in Spanish. In the video, Gomez touts his outsider credentials, declaring his intention to run "a very different kind of campaign."
The GOP is facing an uphill climb in the race for Secretary of State John F. Kerry's old seat. Several high-profile Republicans declined to run, leaving the party to turn to lesser-known candidates. Last week, state Rep. Dan Winslow became the first Republican to enter the race.
The primary is April 30, and the general election is slated for June 25. Candidates have until Feb. 27 to collect 10,000 petition signatures to get on the primary ballot.
On the Democratic side, longtime Rep. Edward J. Markey is the front-runner against more conservative Rep. Stephen F. Lynch.
Update: Romney's former lieutenant governor, Kerry Healey, welcomed Gomez to the race in a statement. But she stopped short of endorsing him over Winslow, who worked for Romney's administration.
“Gabriel possesses the common sense and experience needed to guide our nation through tough decisions on the economy and foreign policy," said Healey. "Gabriel is a regular guy who has accomplished extraordinary things. He'll work hard to keep the American promise of opportunity open to everyone."