Politics

Curt Schilling Endorses Elizabeth Warren’s GOP Opponent

Red Sox hero declines Senate bid, backs Republican who claims he invented email

Curt Schilling, the former Boston Red Sox pitcher, has apparently decided to stay out of the U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts in 2018.

Instead, the World Series-winning baseball star will endorse a “real Indian” for the seat currently held by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

A spirited run might keep Elizabeth Warren at home in 2018, and that could be worth the GOP’s time.

Schilling said he would be supporting V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai for the Senate seat. Ayyadurai, 53, was born in Mumbai, India.

Schilling’s “real Indian” dig is a reference to Warren’s claim in 2012, when she first ran for the Senate seat, that she had Native American heritage.

Schilling’s endorsement is key, because he had thought of running himself against the liberal firebrand.

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In 2010, in the midst of Democratic plans to pass the Affordable Care Act, Schilling endorsed Republican Scott Brown, who ultimately pulled off the first Massachusetts GOP victory for a U.S. Senate seat since 1972. Schilling, a former pitcher, is popular in his adopted home state of Massachusetts, as he helped the Boston Red Sox win two World Series titles, in 2004 and 2007.

Over the years, Schilling established himself not just as a Republican but also a rock-ribbed conservative. Schilling hosts a radio show for Breitbart News.

But even with a push from Schilling, winning the state will be a tall order for Republicans.

For one, Brown won a special election in early 2010, after Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) died. Special election are notoriously low-turnout affairs and the nation was galvanized in opposition to President Obama’s push to pass the Affordable Care Act. When Brown had to defend his seat in the November 2012 general election, he was easily dispatched by Warren, a liberal Harvard University professor and a former adviser to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The state has not voted for a Republican in the presidential elections since 1984. With liberal Democratic cities such as Boston, Springfield, Amherst, and Worcester, there is a lot for a Republican Senate candidate to overcome in the Bay State.

But a spirited run might keep Warren at home in 2018, and that could be an important gift for the GOP.

Warren, the vice chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus, vigorously campaigned against Republican Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential campaign. Something of a star in progressive circles, Warren could raise lots of money for national Democrats in the crucial 2018 midterm elections and help mobilize progressive activists.

Democrats need to pick up three seats to win a Senate majority. It too is a tall order, because Democrats have to defend 25 incumbents in 2018. Republicans only have to defend eight, and most of them are in GOP-leaning states.

Nevertheless, Republicans would prefer to see Warren have to spend time and resources on her own re-election in Massachusetts — not run around the nation, working up Democratic donors and the liberal grassroots.

Ayyadurai claims to be the inventor of email. At 14, in 1978, Ayyadurai filed a patent spelling out what email was, and naming it “email.” Ayyadurai says he did the work while programming at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark, New Jersey.

Schilling could not be reached for comment.

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Political reporter, LifeZette. Indiana University journalism grad. Boston U. business grad. Former Indiana, Alabama statehouse reporter, Daytona Beach editorial writer.

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