Former Massachusetts state Rep. Geoff Diehl on July 4 announced his bid for Massachusetts governor, becoming the first major Republican candidate to enter the race.
“Geoff Diehl is a former State Representative from Whitman whose hard work on behalf of Massachusetts taxpayers has saved residents across the state from having to pay billions of dollars in new taxes,” Diehl’s campaign website says.
“He is also a small business owner, married for 25 years, and father of two teenage daughters. Geoff knows this state from both the public and private sector, and wants to bring all of his experience to work for the people of Massachusetts.”
The incumbent Republican governor, Charlie Baker, has not yet said if he would run for a third term. He assembled a political team in 2019 as he contemplated a run, according to The Boston Globe.
Diehl served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 2011 to 2019. He served as then-candidate Donald Trump’s campaign co-chair during the 2016 presidential election.
Three Democrats have already entered the race: Danielle Allen, a political science professor at Harvard University; Sonia Chang-Díaz, a Massachusetts state senator; and Benjamin Downing, former Massachusetts state senator.
In 2014, Diehl led a grassroots ballot question campaign to successfully defeat a $2 billion state gas tax increase.
In 2018, he ran against Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) for the U.S. Senate and lost by 24 percentage points.
After leaving the Massachusetts House of Representatives, he became the director of business development for TRQ Auto Parts, a division of 1A Auto.
Diehl and his wife, KathyJo Boss, serve as state committee members for the Massachusetts Republican Party. In 2016, Diehl was elected as a delegate to the Republican National Convention.
If Baker runs for re-election, the two candidates’ stances on former President Donald Trump will likely be front and center. Diehl is a vocal Trump supporter. Baker has harshly criticized the former president and had called on him to resign following the Jan. 6 riot.
When then-Vice President Mike Pence opposed using the 25th Amendment to remove Trump, Baker became one of the earliest backers of impeachment. In response, some Republicans called to censure the governor.