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.”