BOSTON — Geoff Diehl is going full Donald Trump in his run for governor — in Massachusetts, one of the bluest, most anti-Trump states in the country.
Diehl, a conservative former state representative who’s run unsuccessfully for statewide office, didn’t have much of a choice when he expected to primary moderate governor and Trump critic Charlie Baker. Securing the former president’s endorsement just made sense at the time.
But Republicans have kept control of the governor’s office for the better part of three decades in this state by running as moderates — a lane Baker left wide open when he took a pass on running for a third term late last year.
Diehl, now the leading GOP contender for governor, isn’t taking the opportunity to swerve to the center. Instead, he’s diving even deeper in on Trump, hiring former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski this week as a senior adviser — baggage be damned.
“[Lewandowski] traveled the country twice in two campaigns with Donald Trump and kind of built that barnstorm, grassroots-energizing campaign,” former Massachusetts GOP political director John Milligan said in an interview. “Diehl is likely hoping he can recreate that here.”