Would-be Successors to Meehan Are Mobilizing

Posted February 27, 2007 at 10:08am

Despite swearing to Roll Call last month that he “has no interest” in the chancellor’s job at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, Rep. Marty Meehan (D) is one of three finalists for the position. He will learn his fate on March 14, when the university announces its choice.

Meehan assured the search committee that he would take the job if chosen, The Boston Globe reported last week.

That stands in contrast to Meehan’s claims just before The Boston Globe reported Jan. 31 that he was being interviewed for the position.

On Jan. 29 he told Roll Call: “I think they’re people in my district who think I’d be good for a lot of jobs, and they want my job so they throw my name out there for everything under the sun. The only problem is I have no interest.”

Scads of Bay State pols are eager to assume the 5th district seat Meehan has held since 1992.

State Rep. Barry Finegold (D) made his ambitions known before the selection committee even confirmed that Meehan, an alumnus, was a candidate for the job.

Other Democrats lining up are: Niki Tsongas, widow of the-late Sen. Paul Tsongas (D-Mass.); state Reps. James Eldridge and James Miceli; Middlesex Sheriff James DiPaola; and David O’Brien, a housing developer.

Republicans also are eager for a special election in the Lowell-based district that Sen. John Kerry (D) and former Vice President Al Gore each won with 57 percent of the vote in the last two White House elections.

Lawrence Mayor Michael Sullivan (R) and Charles McCarthy (R), whom Meehan beat 60 percent to 34 percent in 2002, are both said to be interested.

Meehan has stockpiled $5.4 million in his campaign war chest since 2004 in hopes of competing for an open Senate seat that never materialized.
— Nicole Duran