In Massachusetts, Gomez touts credentials as political independent — with help from the GOP


The National Republican Senatorial Committee released a web video Tuesday backing the party's Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez, a political novice who is facing longtime Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., in a special election three weeks from today.

Even though Gomez, a former Navy Seal-turned private equity investor, has tried to distance himself from the national party, the ad disclaimer suggests it is a coordinated communication between the national party and the candidate. The disclaimer says it was was paid for by the NRSC and authorized by the Gomez committee.  

The definition of a coordinated ad is one that is "made in cooperation, consultation or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of" a candidate or his authorized committee or their agents, according to the Federal Election Commission.

An NRSC spokesperson did not respond to a request about how much the web spot cost to produce. 

Gomez has sought to portray himself as independent in a liberal state even as the national party help has arrived. The race has become more winnable for Gomez — with the Cook Political Report now calling it a tossup — though the latest poll shows Markey with a 12-point lead

The web video comes as the Gomez campaign and the state Republican Party bought a more than $400,000 TV ad buy this week supporting Gomez in the Bay State. The Markey campaign has charged that the ad was funded by the NRSC but a committee spokesman declined to tell Politico whether it has; a national party committee can contribute unlimited amounts of money directly to a state party committee. As for the Markey campaign, it bought $631,000 in broadcast and cable time this week too.

The NRSC has also sent staff to help the Gomez campaign and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., sent a fundraising email through the NRSC on Friday asking for donations to Gomez.

Even so, Gomez insists he's still the political independent in the race. “If anybody is in the pocket of anybody, it’s my opponent,” the Boston Globe quoted Gomez as saying on the campaign trail recently. Markey has served 37 years in Congress, making him the longest-serving member from the New England region. His voting record in the House puts him at the liberal end of his party's spectrum. A senior member of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee and the top-ranking Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, Markey is a fundraising powerhouse who ended his last House campaign with more than $3 million in the bank.

The NRSC web video, which appeared on Ad Hawk, also tries to portray him as independent, cutting to Gomez's Republican primary victory speech where he says, "If you're looking for an independent voice, a new kind of Republican, please join me."

The video portrays portrays Gomez, whose parents are Colombian immigrants, as a modern-day Horatio Alger. The spot quotes a Gomez supporter saying, "The guy came from nothing. To come from that disadvantaged background and by the age of 47 he's both a Navy Seal and a Harvard MBA. He's an extraordinary guy."

Gomez and Markey are vying to take the place of longtime Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, a Democrat who was appointed secretary of state earlier this year.