Former Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez, a Republican, said on Tuesday he would run for the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by John Kerry, setting the stage of two competitive primaries in Massachusetts before the June 25 special election.
Gomez, a 47-year-old newcomer to politics, will face State Representative Dan Winslow in the April 30 primary.
"As I look at Washington I see a lot of unproductive noise and bickering, and I see two parties attacking each other at all times over every issue. I see gridlock," Gomez said in a statement. "I'm running because I refuse to be cynical about America or about America's future."
Former Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey last week said Gomez, a businessman and the son of Colombian immigrants, could "represent the new face of the Republican Party in the northeast."
The winner of the Republican primary will face off against one of two Democrats currently running, U.S. Representatives Edward Markey and Stephen Lynch, either of whom would have a leg up in the Democratic-leaning state.