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Mihos sticks with plan to seek governor’s seat

Republican drops idea of Senate bid

Christy Mihos reiterated his desire to become governor of Massachusetts. Christy Mihos reiterated his desire to become governor of Massachusetts.
By Frank Phillips
Globe Staff / September 10, 2009

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Meet the newest Republican candidate for governor. His name is Christy Mihos.

Yes, Mihos is back in the gubernatorial running. This after telling the Globe on Tuesday night that he was “just about there’’ in his decision to switch gears and run for Edward M. Kennedy’s Senate seat instead. His campaign team went out and registered the website christyforsenate.com.

Mihos never got all the way there. Yesterday morning, a senior campaign aide, Joe Manzoli, wrote to a Republican blog, Red Mass Group, saying that Mihos was, in fact, “committed to be the candidate for governor of Massachusetts in 2010 as we continue to fight for the citizens of this great state.’’

Later yesterday, Mihos issued his own statement, saying he had decided that “my focus and desire is to become governor of my home state. Massachusetts is where I can do the most to confront the abuse of power and the corruption that we face every day. This is where we must stop them before they tax again!’’

Mihos said he had been “approached by members of the Republican Party to run for the US Senate.’’ He did not say who those people were. A spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee said yesterday that Mihos, through an aide, had reached out to its staff, saying he was interested in joining the Senate race.

The bizarre turn of events adds yet another chapter to Mihos’s colorful political career, which includes a high-stakes battle with a Republican governor who removed him from the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority board, and a $4 million self-financed independent candidacy for governor in 2006, during which he ran television ads with cartoons of leading political figures putting their heads up their behinds.

Mihos conducted several interviews yesterday, but he did not return calls to the Globe about his political plans.

The decision to remain in the governor’s race means Mihos will resume his Republican primary battle with Charles D. Baker, a former health insurance executive, onetime Cabinet secretary in GOP administrations, and the party establishment’s favorite to unseat Deval Patrick, a Democrat, in next year’s election.

Mihos has hired national political consultant Dick Morris and assembled a team of political operatives. One big question that remains is whether he will commit to spending the $15 million that his advisers say is needed to wrest the nomination from Baker and beat Patrick and state Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill, who launched his independent candidacy yesterday.