Gizzi on Politics: Gomez Jolt; Sanford Challenge; Schock Withdrawal

Friday, 26 Apr 2013 03:29 PM

By John Gizzi

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Image: Gizzi on Politics: Gomez Jolt; Sanford Challenge; Schock Withdrawal
Venture capitalist Gabriel Gomez suffered a major jolt in his bid for the GOP Senate nomination in Massachusetts this week with the revelation he contributed $1,000 to a liberal Democratic Senate hopeful in 2010.

Gomez made the donation to Alan Khazei, who lost the Democratic primary that year to state Attorney General Martha Coakley, according to several published reports. Coakley went on to lose to Republican Scott Brown in a nationally watched special election.

Gomez, who faces conservative former U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan and moderate state Rep. Daniel Winslow in the April 30 Republican primary, suffered earlier embarrassment when he admitted he had supported Barack Obama for president in 2008.

Sanford to Face Republican Write-in Campaign
South Carolina Republicans are launching a write-in campaign for state Sen. Larry Grooms against former Gov. Mark Sanford in a highly watched special election for a House seat in the state’s 1st Congressional District.

Grooms, a favorite of evangelical conservatives, placed third in the initial Republican primary won by Sanford, and barely missed coming in second.

A write-in campaign has to hurt Sanford, whom the latest Public Policy Polling survey shows trailing Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch by a margin of 50 percent to 41 percent in a district Mitt Romney carried last year with 59 percent.

His campaign was rocked by revelations this week that his ex-wife sought court action against Sanford for trespassing on her property to see their children. The National Republican Congressional Committee also dropped its funding of his bid for Congress in the May 7 special election.

No Shock That Schock’s Out in Illinois
To the surprise of few, two-term Rep. Aaron Schock announced on Friday that he would not seek the Republican nomination for governor of Illinois in 2014.

Schock, 31, a member of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, said he wanted to concentrate his efforts on achieving genuine tax reform.

Although Schock had raised $2.7 million for his campaign kitty, supporters knew he might have a tough time in a race that is likely to include state Treasurer Dan Rutherford, state Sen. Bill Brady, and state Sen. Kirk Dillard — all of whom have previously run in statewide races, unlike the congressman. Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn has not said whether he will run again.

Schock’s news was probably disappointing to at least one Republican touted as his possible successor in Congress: state Sen. Darin LaHood, son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who represented the Peoria district from 1994-2008.

Sestak Fills Coffers, Shifts Focus of Campaign Committee
The opinion of most Pennsylvania Democrats until recently was that former Rep. Joe Sestak, the near-successful 2010 U.S. Senate nominee, would forego a run for office in 2014 and instead take another shot at Republican Pat Toomey in 2016 for the seat that narrowly evaded him.

But Sestak — a retired U.S. Navy admiral and vigorous opponent of the U.S. invasion of Iraq — has raised more than $460,000 during the first three months of 2013. In addition, the 61-year-old former congressman changed the name of his campaign committee from “Sestak for Senate” to “Friends of Joe Sestak.”

This has led to suggestions he will enter the growing Democratic primary for nomination against Republican Gov. Tom Corbett.

John Gizzi is a special columnist for

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