The seven candidates running in the Democratic primary to represent the Fourth Congressional District of Massachusetts in the House of Representatives will face off Tuesday night in a debate hosted by The Gavel at Boston College Law School. The debate will take place at the Law School East Wing, Room 120, at 6 p.m.
The Massachusetts Fourth Congressional District consists of 34 cities and towns, including Newton, Brookline, Taunton, Fall River, and other communities in southern Massachusetts. The district is home to approximately 727,514 people.
The district has been represented by Representative Joseph Kennedy III since 2013, who will not be running for re-election in the House of Representatives. Instead, Kennedy has launched a senate primary campaign against incumbent Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey.
The seven candidates who will attend Tuesday night’s debate include Jake Auchincloss, Dave Cavell, Becky Grossman, Alan Khazei, Ihssane Leckey, Jesse Mermell, and Ben Sigel.
Auchincloss and Grossman are currently members of the Newton City Council, with Auchincloss having served as a captain in the Marine Corps in Afghanistan, and Grossman spending time as an Assistant District Attorney in Middlesex county.
Cavell is a former advisor to Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy and was a speechwriter in the Obama White House, while Khazei is the co-founder of the education non-profit City Year and a former candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2010. Leckey, a former Federal Reserve special examiner, is a democratic socialist and current Brookline resident.
Mermell, a graduate of Boston College, is a former Brookline Selectwoman, communications director under former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, and most recently served as the President for the Alliance for Business Leadership. Ben Sigel is a lawyer and Brookline resident active in non-profit organizing and management.
Interestingly, all candidates come from the wealthier, northern part of the district, specifically Brookline and Newton, while the district itself covers a far larger area that is significantly more economically diverse. The ability of the candidates to reach out to lower-income and working-class voters in communities outside of the major Boston suburbs may prove pivotal to building a winning electoral coalition.
The primary election for the congressional race will be held on September 1, 2020, to winnow this crowded field, in preparation for the general election on November 3. For Massachusetts residents, the voter registration deadline for the general election will be October 14.
The Gavel editor-in-chief, Patrick Carpenter, MCAS ‘21, managing editor Dorothy Cucci, MCAS ‘21, and staff writer Lucas Carroll, MCAS ‘22, will be moderating the debate, which is open to the public.
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