The Boston Globe

Quincy councilor files paperwork to run for Warren’s Senate seat

- By Emma Platoff GLOBE STAFF

Ian Cain, a Quincy city councilor and founder of a startup incubator for blockchain technology, is inching closer to a US Senate run, a bid that could add another prominent Republican to the race against incumbent Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat.

Cain — a newcomer to the GOP — on Monday filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission indicating he plans to seek the office.

“What I’m doing is getting an organizati­on together, and I’ll make a formal announceme­nt later this month,” Cain told the Globe in a brief phone interview. “This is a huge lift to get off the ground and to get on the ballot here in Massachuse­tts.”

“I’m putting the pieces together for what would be a high-growth startup and want to make sure that we’re all buttoned up before we make something formal,” Cain added. He declined to answer other questions Monday about his interest in the office.

Cain faces a tight deadline to obtain the 10,000 signatures he would need to get on the ballot. Those are due to local officials in early May.

Cain, the first openly gay and Black City Council president in Quincy’s history, registered as a Republican only recently — on Feb. 29, according to the city election department. He spent the previous four-plus years as an unenrolled voter, and before that, was a registered Democrat for about three years.

In an interview last year with CommonWeal­th Beacon, Cain suggested he could fit in the pragmatic mold of Charlie Baker, the state’s former, two-term moderate Republican governor.

While he was unenrolled at the time, Cain said if he had to pick a party, “I would probably end up finding opportunit­y to grow a place in the Republican Party in Massachuse­tts,” saying he had a pro-business stance and pointing to the success of both Baker and the late Paul Cellucci. Cain has been a donor mostly to Democratic candidates on the state and federal level.

Cain would be the second Warren challenger to emerge from the cryptocurr­ency world as the industry seeks to flex its political muscle in the 2024 elections. John Deaton, a prominent crypto advocate and personal injury attorney, announced in February he would run for US Senate and seeded his campaign with $500,000 of his own money.

Cain has served on Quincy’s City

Council since 2016. Two years ago, he cofounded a startup incubator called QUBIC Labs. He told told the Globe in 2022 that he believed he could build a blockchain ecosystem that would bring jobs and a culture of innovation to his hometown.

Cain has not been publicly critical of Warren. In 2016, he posted a photo of himself and Warren on Facebook from an event at Suffolk Law School.

Warren, meanwhile, has been one of crypto’s most vocal critics, making her a prime target for the industry. But in Massachuse­tts, the prominent progressiv­e would be hard to beat. She reported having about $4 million cash on hand at the end of 2023, and is a powerful fundraiser with broad name recognitio­n here.

Still, Republican­s are hopeful that the right candidate could topple her, and argue she is not popular or present enough in the state. A survey last year from the MassINC Polling Group found that just 41 percent of Massachuse­tts residents view Warren favorably, a data point that Republican­s here have eagerly embraced. When she ran for president in 2020, Warren finished third in the Democratic primary in Massachuse­tts behind President Biden and US Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Asked about Cain’s potential bid, a spokespers­on for Warren said the senator has “taken on tough fights and won — from lowering costs for student debt and hearing aids, to taxing billionair­e corporatio­ns to fund climate investment­s, to helping deliver more than $50 billion in federal funding to Massachuse­tts — and she’ll continue working hard for Massachuse­tts families.”

A Quincy City Council member since 2016.

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