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With a Show of Force, Gomez Begins Reelection Campaign Underscoring Community…

Adam Gomez

Come together, right now… (WMP&I)

SPRINGFIELD—Facing his first electoral challenge since defeating an incumbent himself, Senator Adam Gomez kicked off his bid for a third term a few doors down from where his opponent had launched weeks before. Filling the lower level of Dewey’s Lounge, a downtown jazz bar, the senator underscored community, both the one he represented, and the one that propelled him to the City Council and later the State Senate for the Hampden District. 

This Thursday’s launch was Gomez’s highest-profile political event since the campaign began. However, he has been mobilizing money and volunteers since Ward 4 City Councilor Malo Brown started an unexpected—and unlikely—bid to dethrone Gomez earlier this year. The kickoff provided a forum to directly tackle implications from Brown and others that Gomez serves only a narrow base. 

“When individuals were counting me out, this room, right here, and the ones that could not be here that touched base with me, counted me in,” Gomez said, alluding to his health scare and kidney transplant last year. 

“And that’s why this seat doesn’t belong to me,” he continued. “It belongs to all of you, to the community, to the Hampton District, Springfield and the residents of Chicopee.” 

Indeed, a wide spectrum of the district was present in the lower level of Dewey’s. It included Senator Jake Oliveira, Springfield at-large Councilors Jose Delgado and Tracye Whitfield and District School Committee member Joesiah Gonzalez.  

On the speaking program were Springfield at-large School Committee member LaTonia Naylor and Democratic State Committee members Ed Collins of Springfield, a retired labor leader, and Karen Hansmann of Chicopee. Gomez also took a moment to recognize the support of Neighbor 2 Neighbor, a community organizing group that has been foundational to his coalition. 

The Hampden Senate District covers seven-eighths of Springfield and southerly precincts of Chicopee. The only areas of Springfield not in the district are parts of East Forest Park, Forest Park and 16 Acres.   

Springfield Senate District

Gomez’s district in goldenrod. (via

Making the trip from Eastern Massachusetts was State Auditor Diana DiZoglio, a Gomez ally long before she ran for statewide office. She said he was backing transparency and accountability, central priorities of hers. These, in turn, protect tax dollars and ensure they returned to the community. 

“If more legislators could be like Senator Gomez, we would be in a much different situation across the state right now,” DiZoglio said. “So please, please, he’s been standing up for you. Please stand up for him.” 

She urged supporters to donate or volunteer however they could. 

Diana DiZoglio

DiZoglio warming up the crowd for Gomez. (WMP&I)

Others, from members of Gomez’s own family to colleagues in the House, could not attend. Yet, they were mentioned and/or represented at the event. The public backing of state reps will attract attention as the campaign advances since Brown is also the chief of staff to Springfield State Rep Bud Williams. 

DiZoglio is likely only the tip of the iceberg of Gomez’s support outside the 413. Colleagues in the Senate could begin assisting Gomez, likely in the form of fundraising, as soon as this week. This will only magnify the monster cash advantage the incumbent will have over Brown. 

At the end of April, Gomez had $47,802 in the bank to Brown’s $5,194. Incomplete data for May available as of posting time show they each raised about the same amount this month, however. 

Gomez, while thankful for contributions, emphasized the impact volunteering will have in the Democratic primary. 

“If you couldn’t give here today, that’s fine, volunteer. Help me canvass,” Gomez said. 

Although Gomez maintains huge advantages both in terms of money and organization—something Brown acknowledged by way of his biblical reference to Gideon during his April 25 kickoff—the race has rocked city politics. 

Williams appears to have tacitly blessed his aide’s bid. Meanwhile, Mayor Domenic Sarno is widely believed to be backing the Ward 4 councilor. This is not terribly shocking as Gomez has long been a mayoral irritant. Still, the impetus for Brown’s challenge appears to be Gomez’s open use of leverage over now-Police Superintendent Lawrence Akers’s age waiver to block a permanent gutting of the Police Commission. 

Malo Brown

At this kickoff, Brown said he was not running as any particular ethnic persuasion other than a “we,” which could imply Gomez was doing the opposite. (WMP&I)

Consequently, the rhetoric Brown and his supporters have employed no-so-subtly insinuates that Gomez is only representing Latinos in the district. That echoes grumbling in February that Gomez had threatened to block the city’s first Black top cop. In fact, Gomez and other opponents of disemboweling the commission ordinance hailed the choice of Akers. 

As he got to Beacon Hill by way of felling an incumbent senator in 2020, a primary challenge itself does not appear to perturb Gomez. Rather, the implication that he is only representing Hispanic—or, more specifically, Puerto Rican— Springfield viscerally offended him. 

“I’m just the legislator that happens to be Puerto Rican, every single one of my bloodlines is in this room,” Gomez said. He noted he had indigenous, black and European ancestry. 

Instead, he emphasized that his work in the legislature is powered by faith and “regular, hard-working people.” Then, Gomez namechecked his Senate colleagues from the 413 to underscore the power of collaboration. 

In an apparent shot at Brown—whom Gomez never mentioned by name—the senator said the campaign was about truth. Indeed, the campaign is not about ducking hard questions, or, in Gomez’s words, “not about lollygagging around the answer.” 

Having already invoked the Almighty earlier in his speech, the most biting riposte came when Gomez made his own reference to the Good Book, albeit from the New Testament. He suggested, though, the line came originally from a movie.  

“Together we’re stronger. Together we’re stronger and whoever is playing that division…that’s Judas,” Gomez said to uproarious applause.