State Rep. Dan Winslow (R ) announced Thursday he will seek the Republican nomination in the special election to replace former Sen. John KerryJohn KerryCongress, Trump need a united front to face down Iran One year ago today we declared ISIS atrocities as genocide Trump’s realism toward Iran is stabilizing force for Middle East MORE (D-Mass.) — becoming the first GOP candidate to formally enter the race.
"I have a proven record of respect for Second Amendment constitutional freedoms. My experience as a fiscal conservative and problem solver is experience we need in Washington DC," he added.
Kerry resigned his Senate seat last week when he took over from Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonWarren: 'Today is a great day... but I'm not doing a touchdown dance' Hollywood stars weigh in on GOP pulling healthcare bill Hillary Clinton: Today was a victory, 'but this fight isn't over yet' MORE as secretary of State.
An attorney, Winslow has served in the Massachusetts state legislature since 2011.
From 2001-2005, he served as then-Gov. Mitt Romney's chief legal counsel, which Massachusetts Democratic Party Chairman John Walsh singled out in an statement released earlier this week, after Winslow indicated his interest in the race.
"Winslow will work just as hard to stop President Obama's agenda in the Senate as he did to deny him a second term and send Mitt Romney to the White House. During his time on Beacon Hill, Republican Winslow has shown that he is more interested in grabbing headlines than getting work done for the people of the Commonwealth," Walsh said.
Walsh charged in his statement that Winslow is a member of "Romney's inner circle," and said he spent last year as one of Romney's "apologists and political attack dogs."
According to the Boston Globe, Winslow has loaned his campaign $100,000 of his own money, and he expects it to ultimately cost between $4 and $6 million. He will meet with Republicans in Washington, including the National Republican Senatorial Committee, next week.
Winslow announced Tuesday that he was exploring a run, making him the first Republican to express interest in the race since former Sen. Scott Brown (R ) declined to run. Massachusetts Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R) indicated on Wednesday he is also considering it, and sources say local businessman Gabriel Gomez may jump in the race as well.
Any prospective candidate has until Feb. 27 to compile the 10,000 signatures needed to get on a primary ballot in Massachusetts.
Democrats have two candidates, Reps. Edward MarkeyEd MarkeyThe Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Overnight Regulation: Senate moves to strike Obama-era internet privacy rules Overnight Tech: Senate votes to eliminate Obama internet privacy rules | FCC chief wants to stay out of 'political debate' on fake news | Wikileaks reveals new CIA docs MORE and Stephen Lynch, lined up for the April 30 primary.