WHITMAN (CBS) — State Representative Geoff Diehl’s supporters were on the campaign trail in Braintree Saturday, working to drum-up support for a possible U. S. Senate run next year.
Campaign volunteers marched in the Stars and Stripes Braintree Parade carrying signs and giving the appearance that Diehl has already thrown his hat in the ring.
Diehl’s office says the representative hasn’t completely made up his mind and a lot depends on fundraising. He readily admits he’s way behind compared to incumbent Senator Elizabeth Warren’s warchest.
“Warren has spent the past 4 years non-stop fundraising so we know she will have the big money advantage. However, we believe that our message of saving taxpayers $2 billion and having great grassroots support will help us defeat her big money advantage,” Diehl said.
The Whitman Republican says he would like the opportunity to hold Senator Warren accountable.
“Within days of Congressman Scalise being shot, Senator Warren called tax cuts ‘blood money. I think we need a discussion on issues not inflammatory rhetoric,” he said. “I believe voters will hold me accountable for my statements and actions and they will hold Senator Warren accountable for her statements and actions.”
WBZ Political Analyst Jon Keller says Diehl’s campaign will rally the anti-Warren sentiment in Massachusetts.
“Diehl may be as good as any candidate the state GOP could offer to consolidate anti-Warren sentiment. As a leader of the successful 2014 initiative repealing gax tax hikes, Diehl showed a knack for grassroots campaigning,” Keller said.
Keller says Diehl correctly read the public mood when he supported Donald Trump in 2016.
“And his early decision to back Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy displayed an understanding of the voter discontent Trump tapped into. If he wins the GOP nomination to challenge Warren, Diehl can likely count on millions in donations from anti-Warren conservatives across the country,” Keller said.
Keller adds though that to many Massachusetts voters, Warren is more than a senator.
“But he will also face other, daunting obstacles. Warren is more than just a senator to many Massachusetts voters, she’s a symbol of the resistance to Trump and of advocacy for consumers and victims of Wall Street excess,” Keller said.
“And while after less than five years in office Warren lacks the credibility and clout the late Sen. Ted Kennedy built up over decades, she has a broad, passionate following that will be difficult for any Republican to match,” Keller also said.
Massachusetts Republican Party spokesman Terry MacCormack says that while they won’t support any candidate in the primary, they welcome anyone who will oppose Warren’s agenda.
“We welcome any GOP candidate who is making the case against Senator Warren’s extreme record of hyper-partisanship that’s failing Massachusetts,” MacCormack said.
Senator Elizabeth Warren’s office has not responded to WBZ’s request for comment on this story.