Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 27, 2014

Tierney Primary Challenger: I’m Being Encouraged to Run (Video)

The candidate: Veteran Seth Moulton, a Democrat.
The member: Nine-term Rep. John F. Tierney, D-Mass.
The district: Massachusetts’ 6th District, located in the northeast corner of the state, is a reliably Democratic district. But past ethics inquiries into Tierney’s personal finances make him a uniquely vulnerable Democrat. Tierney faces Moulton and Democrat Marisa DeFranco in a Democratic primary. The primary victor will likely face former state Sen. Richard Tisei in the general.
The candidate’s team: Mark Mellman (polling), Dover Strategy Group (mail), Scott Ferson (general consultant), Joe Trippi (senior adviser), Max Glass (campaign manager), Carrie James Rankin (communications director).

Iraq War veteran Seth Moulton, a Democrat challenging nine-term Rep. John F. Tierney in a Democratic primary in Massachusetts’ 6th District, says he is being strongly encouraged to run by members of his own party.

“If I had a penny for everyone who’s whispered in my ear to say, ‘We want you to win the primary. We may not be able to publicly support you, but we’d really like you to win this because Congressman Tierney is a liability in this seat,’ my fundraising numbers would be even better than they are,” Moulton said in an interview with CQ Roll Call this month.

While the Ethics Committee recently closed an investigation into whether Tierney allegedly misreported income from his brother-in-law in a financial disclosure report, Tierney is still vulnerable in this otherwise strong Democratic district.

Tierney barely won re-election against Republican former state Sen. Richard Tisei in 2012, prevailing by just a 1-point margin, even as President Barack Obama captured the district by 10 points.

Moulton, a Marine who served in four tours of duty in the Iraq War,  says he’s running because he thinks he will be the better Democrat to face Tisei in his repeat congressional bid.

“I think what people are realizing is that I’m the stronger Democrat,” Moulton said. “And if we want to hold this seat, it’s very important that I win the primary because I will be a much stronger opponent to Richard Tisei in the general election.”

Moulton is not the only Democrat in the primary. Attorney Marisa DeFranco is also waging a bid, but her low fundraising raises questions as to whether she will be competitive.

The primary is Sept. 9, one of the latest in the country.

Massachusetts’ 6th District is rated a Lean Democrat contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

This video interview series questions the scores of congressional hopefuls who visit the CQ Roll Call offices each cycle. Responses and questions have been edited and condensed. Have a question for a candidate? Follow us at @RollCallPols to learn about upcoming interviews.

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