Amherst Wire

A candidate-by-candidate guide to the five congressional races

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(Shannon Broderick/Amherst Wire)

(Shannon Broderick/Amherst Wire)

Shannon Broderick

Shannon Broderick

(Shannon Broderick/Amherst Wire)

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AMHERST — The 2018 midterm elections are rapidly approaching and while much of the focus has been outside of the Commonwealth, there are five contested congressional races right here in Massachusetts.

Below is a brief biography and description of each candidate’s platform. This guide is intended to be an introduction to the candidates; if you would like to find out more, follow the links to their respective campaign websites.

2nd Congressional District

Worcester, Amherst, Northampton and surrounding communities:

Tracy Lovvorn (R)

A licensed physical therapist, mother of two and founder of Evolution Physical Therapy.

An unlikely bio for a political candidate, but political extremism on both sides of the aisle in Washington has inspired Grafton native Tracy Lovvorn to run for Congress.

She cites her frustration with political gridlock in Washington as the basis of her candidacy. If elected, Lovvorn pledges to serve no more than three consecutive terms while also working to impose Congressional term limits. She has said that the people of the 2nd district deserve to be represented by a citizen statesman, and that the Founding Fathers never intended politics to be a career.

A relative centrist, Lovvorn supports the ideas of fiscal responsibility, lower taxation and a decrease in regulations that she believes stifle growth and production.

Jim McGovern (D)

A political outsider he is not. Jim McGovern, a Worcester native, has dedicated much of his life to politics — he spent 14 years working as a senior aide for the late Rep. John Joseph Moakley and has served 11 terms in Congress since his election in 1996.

As a ranking member on the House Rules Committee, McGovern has political experience to tout. During his tenure, he has been an advocate in the fight against hunger, helping to expand the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition program. He cites this as one of his proudest accomplishments, providing nutritious meals to children in schools across the nation and in places riddled by poverty across the globe.

McGovern has been a leading voice in the movement to overturn the Citizens United decision. He also supports a livable minimum wage and funding renewable energy solutions.

Third Congressional District

Lowell, Lawrence, Fitchburg and surrounding communities:

Lori Trahan (D)

With incumbent Niki Tsongas (D) vacating her seat, the district is up for grabs — so much so that the Democratic primary saw a total of ten candidates throw their hat in the ring. Lori Trahan received 20.9 percent of the vote, beating Dan Koh by a mere 0.4 percentage points. Nonetheless, Trahan, the current CEO of the Concire Leadership Institute, secured the Democrats’ nomination.

Having served as the chief of staff to Congressman Marty Meehan, Trahan has balanced a career in both the private sector and governmental affairs.

Trahan’s platform insists that she will help close tax loopholes that put middle class families into troublesome positions. She is pro-choice and believes that an increase in the minimum wage will aid in closing the pay gap. Trahan also seeks to overturn the Citizens United decision and cites climate change as a top priority if elected.

Rick Green (R)

Rick Green is familiar with the concept of job creation. Green is the co-founder and CEO of 1A Auto, a leading online auto parts supplier. His small startup in his hometown of Pepperell now employs hundreds of people in the district and across the state.

Green is a political outsider and his platform embodies that background. A self-described “service-over-self” candidate, Green pledges to never accept a lobbying position, book deal, Congressional pension, or any form of supplementary income. As the founder of one of the largest employers in the district, Green cites job creation as a top priority with his free market and pro-growth policy.

Green frequently mentions the need for infrastructural improvement along Route 2 and hopes to secure federal aid to widen the road and fix the Concord rotary. He is a supporter of legal immigration, but opposes illegal immigration and the concept of sanctuary cities.

Fifth Congressional District

Cambridge, Framingham, Waltham and surrounding communities:

Katherine Clark (D)

Victorious in a 2013 special election to fill the void left by now-Senator Ed Markey, Melrose native Katherine Clark has been a vocal member of the House since her election. As a new member of the House Appropriations Committee, her tenure gives her the edge in experience over her opponent.

Clark  singles out the economic security of families as the most pressing issue facing the Fifth District. She has dedicated her time in Washington to the fight for access to good jobs, paid leave, a livable wage and college affordability.

Clark has been and promises to remain an advocate for investment in infrastructure. She continues to push for stricter gun laws.

John Hugo (R)

Arlington native John Hugo has been a dispatcher for thirty-five years. Hugo has served in Arlington town government and is now a resident of nearby Woburn. He has lived in the Fifth District his entire life, and he touts his loyalty to the region and his reputation as a true “working-class candidate” as what will set him apart from his incumbent opponent.

Hugo is a proponent for Congressional term limits, as he believes that Washington has become a “province of the wealthy.” He is also a staunch advocate of the 2nd Amendment and opposes all forms of illegal immigration. Like his opponent, he refers to improved infrastructure as a key necessity for his district.

Sixth Congressional District

Gloucester, Salem, Tewksbury and surrounding communities:

Seth Moulton (D)

A Marine veteran, Seth Moulton was born, raised and continues to live in Salem with his family. As a vocal member of the House, Moulton is a key figure as the Democrats look to win back their majority in Congress.

Noteworthy is Moulton’s push for an emergence of a new generation of Democratic leaders in Washington — which comes at no surprise given his background and charismatic leadership style. Moulton, albeit a critic of President Trump, has been essential to bipartisan legislation such as the Faster Care for Veterans Act.

Moulton is a proponent of STEM education as well as Common Core in public schools. He supports clean climate initiatives and a fierce critic of gun violence.

Joe Schneider (R)

Nothing has ever come easy to Joe Schneider. Born in Communist Romania in 1962, his family escaped to the U.S. as political refugees. After learning English and becoming a U.S. Citizen, Schneider attended West Point and served as a Green Beret in the Army.

According to Schneider, Moulton and his Democrat counterparts are comfortable with continuing the status quo in Washington. This, he stresses, is not enough to help reinvigorate the middle class.

Schneider asserts that his top priority as Congressman would be working across the aisle to promote anything in the best interests of his constituents, including the rejuvenation of the middle class. Schneider speculates that “finding common ground” naturally promotes the interest of people over party loyalty.

A self-proclaimed “independent voice,” Schneider is a supporter of congressional term limits to eliminate hyper-partisan politics and looks to restore civility to politics.

Ninth Congressional District

Cape Cod, New Bedford, Plymouth and surrounding communities:

Bill Keating (D)

Elected in 2010, Bill Keating has been an effective leader for the people of the Ninth district. First elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1977 at the young age of 23, the Norwood native has spent his entire life in politics. Keating followed up his tenure in the House with a stint in the Massachusetts Senate and in 1999 became the Norfolk District Attorney until his run for Congress.

Keating is a ranking member on the Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which he deems fitting due to the large Portuguese and Irish-American populations in his district. The Bourne resident remains a strong supporter of the Cape Wind offshore wind facility as well as all forms of renewable energy.

Keating has frequently opposed attacks on environmental regulations by the Trump Administration. Climate change, he argues, has and will continue to have a direct impact on the coastal communities that comprise the core of his district.

Peter Tedeschi (R)

If you are from the South Shore, chances are you have been to a Tedeschi Food Shop.

The 2012 convenience store Chain of the Year is the product of years of Tedeschi family management and Peter Tedeschi’s own work. The current CEO of Tedeschi Food Shops says he is running for Congress to give back to the region that has given so much to his family for generations.

Tedeschi asserts that the call to serve is a civic duty, not a career. He insists that public service is meant to benefit the people represented, not the candidate representing them. Tedeschi is a vocal critic of his opponents’ pattern of accepting large donations from PACs — priding himself and his campaign on local campaign contributions.

Tedeschi’s priorities range from immigration reform to assessment of Congressional spending. He conveys a message welcoming immigrants who “follow the rules,” while at the same time giving law enforcement the resources necessary to weed out “bad actors.” Tedeschi regularly cites the need for Congress to reassess its “reckless” spending, believing that it needs to take the time to honestly reassess its spending habits.

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A candidate-by-candidate guide to the five congressional races