“The chamber endorsement really underscores that Richard Tisei supports the Ryan plan to end Medicare and supports the chamber’s agenda of providing tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires over the middle class,” Grant Herring, a Tierney spokesman, said yesterday. “The U.S. Chamber is very different from the local chambers here. The small businesses in the district know John Tierney has been an advocate for them.”
The small-business owners who gathered inside Old Neighborhood Foods, a small meat company, offered a much different assessment. They said they could not afford more regulation, taxes or Tierney.
“We need a congressman who is looking out for our interests, the independent business guy, not for the unions and what they want done,” said Arther Bourque, a former Lynnfield selectman and the owner of Surveillance Specialties in Wilmington. “I don’t want an extremist in Washington, I want someone who watches out for small businesses.”
On Tierney’s claim that his organization and its policy positions are radical, Engstrom turned the table.
“If he thinks creating jobs is a radical position, I take that as a sign of a campaign that’s failing,” Engstrom said of Tierney. “We stand by our record, and if the congressman thinks job creators are radical, then he’s going to find himself in need of a job.”
Tierney, a Democrat, and Tisei, a Republican, are entwined in a very tight election race to represent the Massachusetts 6th District, which stretches from Lynn to Amesbury and as far west as Billerica.
“This is one of the closest races in the country, that’s why we’re here,” Engstrom said in an interview yesterday.
Tisei, while saying the chamber’s endorsement “means a lot,” said afterward that he will be an independent congressman, not beholden to all of the organization’s ideas.