In his sole campaign stop of the day, Gabriel Gomez spent about half an hour Tuesday seated across the kitchen table from members of the Lear family, Braintree residents and voters who said they are considering backing the Republican US Senate hopeful despite having voted for US Representative Stephen Lynch in the Democratic primary.
Gomez, a political newcomer, is hoping to lure as many of those Lynch supporters as possible to his side before the June 25 general election.
Among the family members who joined the discussion were grandparents David and Pat Lear, Pat’s sister-in-law Judy Starr, and grandson Dan Regan—all of whom identified themselves as either Democrats or Independents who are now considering supporting Gomez.
“I always vote for the person, not the party,” said David Lear, an Air Force veteran who said he admired Gomez’s military service and that he is a relative political newcomer.
Regan, a college junior who is studying criminal justice at Westfield State, said his biggest concern was uncertainty about the job market. Although he has an internship lined up for this summer, he said many of his friends do not and are worried about their job prospects after graduation.
“A person of your moderate-type stances is what we need in politics,” Regan said to Gomez toward the end of the meeting.
Gomez focused most of his talking points on the need for a balanced budget amendment, which is one component of his campaign’s seven-point congressional reform plan.
“We’ve all had to struggle and to balance our own checkbooks,” Gomez said, as he sat at the head of the table. “(Congress) should have to balance their budget too.”
Political observers believe winning over voters like the Lear family—just a handful of the 230,000 Massachusetts residents who voted for Lynch in the US Senate special election primary—will be vital in order for Gomez to craft a coalition capable of carrying him to victory.
In the primary election held last month, Lynch topped Markey’s vote total in four counties: Bristol, Worcester, Plymouth, and Norfolk.
Gomez, who has hammered Markey as a career politician who is out of touch with his would-be constituents, stressed that he is a political newcomer and vowed to spend no more than two full terms in the Senate if elected.
“They know that I’m not ideologically rigid,” Gomez said after finishing his meeting with the family. “They know that I’m not going to go down (to Washington D.C.) and be beholden to the party.”
The meeting was at least the second time since the beginning of the general election that Gomez has stumped in Braintree, which is one of Norfolk County’s largest towns.
“We’ll be spending a lot of time in Braintree,” Gomez said to a local reporter as he made his way toward his car. “We’ll be back.” Wesley Lowery can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @WesleyLowery.