(CNN) – Gabriel Gomez has his sights set on Massachusetts' open Senate seat - and what better place to meet potential voters than the state's premier running event?
Gomez will run in this year's Boston Marathon, held April 15, and hopes to meet as many of the race's spectators as possible.
"This race is all about having a great time. Starting it and finishing it," Gomez said Monday. "From everything I've seen it's the most amazing marathon. I'm hoping to meet a lot of people, shake a lot of hands."
Gomez – who has run five marathons in the past - is vying for the Republican nomination in the Massachusetts Senate race. A primary vote will be held April 30, with winners going on to the special election in June. He's competing against Michael Sullivan, a conservative former U.S. attorney, and Daniel Winslow, a state lawmaker.
The seat became available after John Kerry became secretary of state.
Runners in the Boston Marathon must first qualify in another race. Gomez said his 3:22 time in the Smuttynose Marathon in New Hampshire was good enough for a spot in the Boston event.
Marathon Monday in Boston is a state holiday, which allows Bostonians to come out and cheer on runners along the race route, which weaves through suburbs of the city and finishes downtown.
Some of those suburbs lie in Rep. Ed Markey's district. Markey is running for the Democratic nomination in the Bay State Senate race against fellow congressman Stephen Lynch.
"Congressman Markey is more than welcome to join me," Gomez said.
Gabriel Gomez announced his candidacy in February with a bilingual web video introducing himself to voters.
"I spent my career as a Navy SEAL and a businessman right here in Boston," he said. "I'm not a politician so I'll have a very different kind of campaign."