At least once a week, Governor Deval Patrick is asked whether he will run for Senate against Scott Brown, and he always answers some version of the same word: no.
Even if President Obama asked him, Patrick declared on national television, he would decline.
But his denials haven’t convinced everyone, including people raising money on his behalf.
An e-mail appeal sent for a fund-raising event with the governor to be held at a private home in Sharon this Friday teased the prospect of a Senate run in a quest to draw donations of $250 to $500.
“While this is not an election year, Gov. Patrick needs funds to support a couple of key races in 2012, and also he may make a run for Scott Brown's Senate seat,” the letter stated.
The event is part of an evening with members of the Muslim community, whom Patrick will also join at a Sharon mosque that same night. The meetings are a follow-up to a highly publicized outreach event Patrick held last May, when he promised to help the state’s Muslim community combat discrimination.
Patrick’s campaign committee said it did not authorize the e-mail and that the governor, a Democrat, is still not interested in challenging Brown, a Republican. Patrick has set up campaign accounts to help other candidates, including President Obama’s reelection. But he has not established a Senate campaign committee.
The author of the fundraising appeal said today that he had no inside knowledge of any plan to draft Patrick to run for Senate.
“It was complete speculation on my part,” said Bilal Kaleem, former executive director of the Muslim American Society of Boston who is now a graduate student at the Kennedy School.
Kaleem said he had written the fund-raising appeal at the request of Dr. Waqar Cheema, who is hosting the fundraiser. Kaleem said he sent the email to 10 to 15 friends and was surprised it was distributed more widely. In fact, the email was resent to hundreds of members of the Islamic Center of New England.
Atif Harden, a spokesperson for the event at the Sharon mosque on Friday, said Patrick’s support in the Muslim community is particularly strong after last year’s event at a mosque in Roxbury, which he called historic.
Harden said members of the state’s Muslim community are hoping that Patrick, on Friday, will offer an update on several promises he made during the Roxbury gathering, including a request that he attend one of the group’s monthly meetings with law enforcement officials.
“This is just all speculation and probably trying to just gin up the support,” Harden said of the fund-raising appeal.
Patrick’s visit to the Roxbury mosque last year prompted unusual election criticism from one of his opponents, independent Timothy P. Cahill, who accused him of “pandering to special interests” and “playing politics with terrorism.” Cahill’s comments received wide condemnation, including from a group of interfaith leaders.
In a statement late today, Patrick spokesman Alex Goldstein said “Governor Patrick looks forward to meeting with members of the Commonwealth’s Muslim community about the issues they care about, and about his own efforts to create jobs, close the achievement gap, provide affordable health care and combat youth violence in our communities.”
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