Whitman Republican State Representative, Geoff Diehl, announced a federal campaign account and formal exploration of a bid for the 2018 senate race on Wednesday.
This is Diehl’s first step toward a statewide campaign challenging the progressive ,Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, the Boston Globe reports.
If he is able to raise funds in the ‘six figures’ by the end of next FEC reporting in June – that can compete with the close to $5 million Warren has in the bank – Diehl said he would likely enter the race, according to the Patriot Ledger.
Diehl told the Boston Herald, “This is a big step not just for me, but other Republicans in the state…This will give us the additional indicator of how we will do in fundraising and continuing to grow the support base to win a race like this.”
According to a WBUR poll from January, 51 percent of state’s voters favor Warren, but only 44 percent believe she deserves a second term. These numbers could benefit Diehl, if he decides to run.
Diehl is a fourth-term conservative Republican from Whitman, Mass who worked on the Trump campaign.
Since 2014, Diehl successfully helped repeal a law regarding automatic gas tax increases and blocked the use of taxpayer dollars for the 2024 Boston Olympic bid according to Mass Live. He also opposed the legislative pay raises in Massachusetts as well as the sanctuary city effort, the Patriot Ledger reports.
Despite his successes, Diehl, a conservative, could face an uphill battle in voter turnout with a highly motivated Democratic, anti-Trump demographic in Mass.
During his senate press conference behind the Whitman Town Hall, Diehl targeted and criticized Warren for being too-self interested during her term.
Diehl said, “She’s [Warren] there to seek the limelight of the national media, the special interests and the liberal elites so that she can position herself to run for higher office. Once elected, she seems to have forgotten where Massachusetts is,” The Ledger reports.
The Ledger also reported that the Warren campaign did not comment on Diehl’s possible campaign bid or criticism of Warren.
Aside from the Senate races, Governor Charlie Baker’s team thinks having a conservative challenger to Warren on the 2018 ballot that is too far right could hinder the moderate turnout for Baker and push liberal voters to his yet-to-be-determined Democratic challenger, according to The Boston Globe.
Diehl might not be the only candidate who may run against Warren.
Besides the Democrats who are expected to take on Baker in November, many lesser-known candidates like Republican donor John Kingston, Shiva Ayyadurai and Allen Waters of Mashpee have explored the option of taking on Warren, both the Globe and Ledger report.