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Tierney Is Lone Vulnerable in Massachusetts

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Rep. John Tierney is the only potentially vulnerable Massachusetts Democrat in this election cycle because of the more conservative bent of voters in his district, legal troubles in his family and a very credible GOP challenger.

Neal’s new district stretches west from his political stronghold of Springfield, the commonwealth’s third-largest city, to encompass all of Berkshire County and the western part of the state. The new 1st is split almost evenly between recent voters currently residing in Olver’s district and Neal’s, so the longtime Congressman and member of the Ways and Means Committee will have to introduce himself to a lot of new constituents. With $2.3 million in cash on hand at the end of September, that shouldn’t be too difficult. The 1st is staunchly Democratic turf, but Neal faces a primary from former state Sen. Andrea Nuciforo. It will be a very, very steep climb for Nuciforo, who had $155,000 in the bank at the end of September, to unseat this well-liked Member of the delegation.

2nd District
Incumbent: Jim McGovern (D)
8th term (57 percent)
Rating: Safe Democratic

The majority of this district is new to McGovern, but it still will be an easy re-election bid for him this cycle. The 2nd not only includes his political base of Worcester, the commonwealth’s second-largest city, but also the deeply liberal college towns of Amherst and Northampton in the Pioneer Valley. McGovern, who has frequently earned a 100 percent rating from Americans for Democratic Action, is a true liberal who should see eye to eye with his new constituents.

3rd District
Incumbent: Niki Tsongas (D)
2nd full term (55 percent)
Rating: Safe Democratic

The redistricting process was good to Tsongas, who got her wish to keep most of the Merrimack Valley region — including her home base of Lowell — intact in the district. In a year with Obama on the ballot and increased turnout among the Democratic base, she should cruise to re-election with an even stronger percentage of the vote than she received last fall.

4th District
Open seat: Barney Frank (D) is retiring
Rating: Safe Democratic

Frank announced his retirement Monday, paving the way for a wild Democratic primary. The 16-term Congressman would have had to introduce himself to a lot of new voters in the newly drawn 4th, which meanders from his longtime base of support in liberal Newton and Brookline down to a portion of Fall River. 

Potential contenders for the Democratic nomination include City Year co-founder Alan Khazei, who recently dropped his Senate primary bid but had $751,000 in his federal account at the end of September, former Brookline Board of Selectmen Chairwoman Deborah Goldberg, Brookline Selectwoman Jesse Mermell, state Sen. Cynthia Creem, state Sen. Marc Pacheco and Bristol County District Attorney Samuel Sutter. Sources close to Sutter say he will make an official announcement next week.

One Republican candidate in the race is psychiatrist Elizabeth Childs. She had only $11,000 in cash on hand at the end of the third quarter. It’s unclear whether Sean Bielat, the GOP nominee in 2010, will run again.

5th District
Incumbent: Ed Markey (D)
18th full term (66 percent)
Rating: Safe Democratic

It’s no surprise that Markey, the dean of the delegation, ended up with an exceedingly safe district not dissimilar to the one he currently represents. The liberal suburbs of Boston should safely re-elect Markey to his 19th term.

6th District
Incumbent: John Tierney (D)
8th term (57 percent)
Rating: Leans Democratic

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