The field of Republicans looking to take on Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren next year is growing.
State Representative Geoff Diehl, an early supporter of President Trump in the Bay State, brought his campaign for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate to Springfield this week, two days after his formal announcement.
" This today is a chance to speak to the people in Springfield to let them know about this campaign," Diehl said.
He spoke at a gas station as a reminder to voters of his work on a successful 2014 ballot initiative to repeal an increase in the state’s gasoline tax. He also touted his filing of legislation that would have blocked taxpayer dollars from being used as part of Boston’s aborted bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics.
" I want to take that work ethic down to Washington DC and make sure I put the agenda of the people of Massachusetts first. That's what it should be about," said Diehl. He added that he wanted to " make sure our borders are secure, that people coming into our country and state are here legally and that state resources don't go to people who are here in sanctuary cities."
The 48-year-old from Whitman, in southeastern Massachusetts, was first elected to the legislature in 2010, defeating a Democratic incumbent. He lost a bid for a State Senate seat in a special election in 2015. He was co-chairman of Trump’s 2016 campaign in Massachusetts.
Diehl accuses Warren of being a part-time Senator who is more focused on her national political profile.
" We certainly don't need a Senator who wants to be reelected just to spend two more years running for president instead of serving the people of Massachusetts," said Diehl.
Two other Republicans have said they intend to run for the Senate nomination and two more are reportedly considering it. But, Diehl is looking past a possible Republican primary.
" I'm focused at this point solely on making sure we show the contrast between myself and the current senior Senator," said Diehl.
In the run-up to his formal campaign announcement, Diehl spent months building support with the Republican grassroots. He is well known and well liked among listeners to conservative talk radio, who have urged him to take on Warren.
Diehl acknowledges he does not always see eye-to-eye politically with the state’s popular Republican Governor Charlie Baker, who said last year he would not vote for Trump.
" For him ( Baker), obviously he has a reelection that is very important to continue the work he has done as a better manager of state services and I want to be a partner with him down in Washington with a Republican administration. Working with a Republican governor would be a great asset to the people of Massachusetts," said Diehl.
Warren announced in January that she planned to run next year for a second term. Since then, she has consistently sidestepped questions about the upcoming campaign.
" The whole reason I ended up in politics was because I wanted to fight for working families and that is the fight I am in every single day. That is what, I think, our focus needs to be on," Warren said to reporters in Springfield earlier this year.
The incumbent Democrat currently has a huge lead in campaign fundraising over the field of would-be Republican challengers. He campaign account at the end of June was just over $11 million.