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Local News

March 3, 2014

Challengers eye Democratic nomination

Moulton, DeFranco gear up for Tierney fight

SALEM — Richard Tisei might be a formidable opponent, but he isn’t the only candidate for the 6th District seat that Congressman John Tierney has to worry about this year.

Seth Moulton of Salem and Marisa DeFranco of Middleton hope to knock the nine-term congressman out of the race by securing the Democratic nomination at September’s primary.

The question is, how do you beat an entrenched candidate like Tierney?

“One voter at a time,” DeFranco said. “It’s talking to people on the ground.”

“You win it by earning the trust of the voters you represent,” Moulton said.

With the primary nine months off, both candidates have begun adding texture to their campaigns and elaborating on their stances and what they’d bring to the office they seek.

Moulton was born in Salem and grew up in Marblehead, the son of a real estate lawyer and a secretary at Massachusetts General Hospital. After high school, he attended Harvard College, then joined the Marines and ended up serving four tours in Iraq over five years.

Among other highlights of his military service, Moulton was in the first company to enter Baghdad in the 2003 invasion and served as a special assistant to Lt. Gen. David Patraeus.

When he got back to the states, Moulton earned two more degrees from Harvard, then spent a year in Texas managing a company that sought to build a 240-mile high-speed rail line between Dallas and Houston. After returning to Salem, he served on the YMCA’s board.

Moulton, who is running for public office for the first time, referred to his campaign team as “the best team in Democratic politics this year.” It includes Mark Mellman, a pollster who has worked for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid; Joe Trippi, who previously ran Howard Dean’s campaign for president; and Scott Ferson, a former press secretary of Sen. Ted Kennedy.

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