GOP Senate hopefuls' quest to get signatures

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February 21, 2013, 6:30 pm
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(NECN: Alison King) - With a Feb. 27 deadline looming, Republican Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez has enlisted his family members to help collect the 10,000 signatures needed to get on the ballot.

It's the focus of his second campaign video, which the only way most voters have been able to get to know Gomez since he's declined all media interviews.

His campaign kick off happens next Thursday night, but only if he's able to get the signatures  

Democratic political analyst George Bachrach, who had to collect signatures for his 1994 race for governor, says, "This is really a very hard job because you don't need 10,000; you really 20,000 or more because raw signatures have to be certified."

And Bachrach says he had months to do it in spring and summer - not a couple of weeks in the freezing cold.

Weekends are the key time to collect signatures. Candidates have already lost one weekend to the Feb. 9 blizzard, and then another big snow fall last weekend and will lose this one because of another major storm slated for Saturday and Sunday.

"When you're relying on volunteers, they have the best of intentions, but when it's snowing or pouring, some of them just decide, 'Well, maybe not today' and that makes it even harder," Bachrach adds.

Political consultant Holly Robichaud, who works for former U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan, says it's tough. However, while Gomez and Republican state Representative Dan Winslow have hired signature collectors to help them, Sullivan has a different plan.

"He doesn't want to pay to get on the ballot," Robichaud says. "If Republicans are going to win in this state, we need to build a strong grassroots organization, and so by the time this is over, next Wednesday, we'll build a grassroots organization that can compete with the Democrats and the public sector unions."

Robichaud says for now, Sullivan's Facebook page acts as a campaign headquarters where volunteers post their contact information and signature gathering locations.

Tags: George Bachrach, Alison King, Dan Winslow, gop candidates, gabriel gomez, Republican candidates, voter signatures, MA Senate primary ballot, Michael Sullivan, Holly Robichaud
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