Former Navy Seal to Seek Republican Nomination for Kerry’s Senate Seat

Photograph by Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

A T-shirt reading ‘Osama Got Obama’d’ at a souvenir stand near the White House in Washington.

A former U.S. Navy Seal who was critical of President Barack Obama for politicizing the killing of Osama bin Laden is now stepping into politics.

Gabriel Gomez said today he’ll seek the Republican nomination to replace Sen. John Kerry, who left his seat to become Secretary of State. The seat is being filled on an interim basis by William “Mo” Cowan until a June special election.

Gomez, 47, was a spokesman for the Special Operations OPSEC Special Education Fund during the 2012 presidential election. The group released a 22-minute video called “Dishonorable Disclosures” in August 2012 in which a series of ex-military officials criticized Obama for taking too much credit for the assault on bin Liden’s Abbottabad compound and for releasing too much information about it. The video has been viewed over 5 million times on YouTube.

Democrats accused the group of trying to “swift-boat” Obama by creating doubt about one of his most significant foreign policy victories. OPSEC includes Paul Vallely, a retired Army major general who has said he does not believe Obama was born in the United States.

Gomez does not appear in the “Dishonorable Disclosures” video, but he went on MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews” in August 2012 to defend it, saying the president “focused a majority of the comments on himself as opposed to the troops,” when Obama addressed the nation about the raid in May 2011.

“A big majority of the presentation was focused on him and his administration,” Gomez said in the interview.

Gomez said he donated to Obama’s 2008 primary campaign and has “voted for Republicans and Democrats.”

A spokesman for Gomez did not immediately return a phone call or email inquiry about whether he is still associated with the OPSEC group.

In an emailed statement sent to reporters today announcing his candidacy, Gomez said, “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, I see a partisan atmosphere where very few are willing to work together.”

Gomez will have to collect 10,000 signatures by Feb. 27 to qualify for a Republican primary on April 30.

Two Democratic members of Congress, U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch of South Boston and U.S. Rep. Ed Markey of Malden, are competing for the Democratic nomination. The special election is set for June 25.

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