WHITMAN (CBS/AP) — Republican state Representative Geoff Diehl has formally launched his challenge to Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Diehl, who served as co-chair of President Donald Trump’s campaign in Massachusetts, made the announcement Tuesday evening in Whitman, Massachusetts, where he lives.
The Whitman Republican talked about being Trump’s campaign leader in the Bay State by saying he would support Trump’s agenda in the Senate.
Diehl says that, “We’re not going to be the same on every issue, for sure. But we’re going to be the same on every issue that affects average Americans trying to find work and trying to make sure they have a better future than they did.”
Warren is running for a second six-year term and has frequently sparred with Trump both verbally and on social media.
Shiva Ayyadurai, a Cambridge technology entrepreneur, also is seeking the GOP nomination for the seat held by Warren.
Warren had more than $11 million in her campaign account as of the end of June, compared to nearly $260,000 in Deihl’s account.
Diehl says the cash difference is because of Warren’s almost non-stop fundraising.
“Warren has spent the past four years in 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.
Diehl points out that money doesn’t always decide an election.
“Money doesn’t always win elections. In 2014 we ran a grassroots campaign to repeal automatic gas tax hikes. We were outspent 31 to 1. Our opponents had $3 million. We had $97,000. Yet, we won with 53 percent of the vote,” Diehl said.
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.
In fundraising, Ayyadurai lags far behind with only $28,000 in his campaign account.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)