Ex-Romney aide to challenge Rep. Keating in Massachusetts

A lawyer who served under former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney during his time as governor of Massachusetts launched a campaign against Rep. Bill Keating (D) this week.

John C. Chapman, who served in various roles under Romney, including commissioner for the Department of Industrial Accidents, said in a statement on his website he’s running for Congress because “Washington has grown polarized, become more arrogant and lost touch with the people it represents.”

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“Obamacare is the poster child for a federal government that's not working, from the way it was passed on an entirely partisan basis, to the broken promises about keeping your healthcare if you like it, to the higher taxes imposed on businesses and individuals,” he added. “I’m a fiscal conservative with experience in the government, private and non-profit sectors.”

Chapman cites his experience in the Reagan White House as well as with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the statement, but makes no mention of his tenure on Romney’s staff, though that is included in his biography. The website says he worked as an aide in Reagan's counsel's office.

He told The Boston Globe, which first reported news of his candidacy, that he’s “pro-choice” and “pro-equality, pro-gay marriage,” all positions that align him more closely with the general electorate in deep-blue Massachusetts than his own party.

Two other Republicans have already filed to run for the seat, as it’s one of just two districts in the Bay State that Republicans believe to be competitive, the other being Massachusetts’s 6th, represented by Democrat John Tierney.

President Obama won the district by just 12 percentage points in 2012, despite a blowout statewide. Still, Keating defeated his Republican challenger last cycle by more than 20 points.

Keating’s office told the Globe that the congressman is currently concentrating on issues back in the district, including the winter storm buffeting the Northeast.

"Obviously, there will be a time in the future to also focus on the campaign, but that time is not today,” said spokeswoman Lauren Amendolara.