July 31, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

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.

There are few more Democratic districts in the nation than the 7th, which encompasses a big portion of Boston and the surrounding municipalities of Chelsea, Everett and Milton. It also includes the city of Randolph, part of Cambridge, and Capuano’s hometown of Somerville, where he served as mayor for almost a decade. Capuano will handily win re-election in this majority-minority district.

8th district
Incumbent: Stephen Lynch (D)
5th full term (68 percent)
Rating: Safe Democratic

Lynch is a safe bet to win this district that includes part of Boston and towns to its south and east. A former ironworker and longtime union man, Lynch has won easily in every Congressional election he’s run in since he garnered the Democratic nomination for the special election to fill the late Rep. Joe Moakley’s (D) seat. The redistricting process was good to him, and he should be on a path to a comfortable victory.

9th district
Incumbent: Bill Keating (D)
1st term (47 percent)
Rating: Safe Democratic

Keating’s job got a bit tougher when his Quincy home was drawn into the 8th. He plans to change his primary residence to a longtime summer home on Cape Cod. The 9th includes all of the Cape and portions of the South Shore and South Coast regions of the commonwealth, some of which have historically favored Republicans. Still, a Democrat should win here in 2012 with Obama at the top of the ticket. And with no credible Republican candidates on the horizon, it could even be an easy run for Democrats to retain this seat.

But Keating may face a primary challenge. Former state Sen. Robert O’Leary (D), who lost to Keating in the 2010 primary, is reportedly mulling another bid. Another potential primary challenger is New Bedford Mayor Scott Lang. Lang’s term ends Jan. 2, and he told Roll Call he will make a decision on a bid once he is back at his private law practice in the new year.

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