By Jonathan Phelps
---- — Republican Richard Tisei has taken the first step toward launching a campaign for Congress, filing paperwork with the Federal Election Commission and forming an exploratory committee for a possible rematch with Democratic Congressman John Tierney.
After a brutal campaign, Tierney beat Tisei by less than 1 percent of the vote last November. It was one of the most closely watched races in the nation.
Tierney, now serving his ninth term in Congress, also plans to run for re-election, and he has two challengers in the primary election: Seth Moulton, a Marblehead native, businessman and former Marine; and Marisa DeFranco, an immigration attorney from Middleton.
Tisei said “hyper-partisanship, exhibited by both parties on a daily basis, has created a stranglehold on our government and is preventing us from moving forward.” Most people in the district want members of Congress working together, he said.
“I’ve been watching what has been happening in Washington the past few months, and it is very concerning,” Tisei said. “I am disheartened by the fact the country has such huge problems and no one seems to be working together to solve them.”
In a statement released yesterday, he said, “We need more responsible Republicans and fewer divisive Democrats in Washington who are willing to stop the name-calling, put party aside, and begin to seriously work together to do what is right for America.”
Tierney said yesterday he welcomes any Democrat or Republican to the campaign.
“While I look forward to debating the issues that matter in the coming year, I am confident that I continue to be the best person for this job,” Tierney said.
“Like those I represent, I am committed to improving our economy, making college more affordable, preventing gun violence, strengthening health care for seniors and service members, and ensuring that our country continues to be a leader around the world.”
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released a statement yesterday saying Tisei will continue “his radical crusade to force his out-of-touch agenda on the people of Massachusetts.”
“Voters have already rejected Richard Tisei and the tea party’s attempt to add another reliable rubber stamp to its ranks, and they won’t be fooled this time around either,” said Marc Brumer of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Tisei shrugged off the broadside, calling it “Washington rhetoric.” He pointed to his record during 26 years in the Massachusetts House and Senate and the fact that he is openly gay and pro-choice, in refuting claims that he is allied with the tea party.
“I represented an overwhelmingly Democratic community, and no one ever accused me of being an extremist except John Tierney,” Tisei said.
Tisei married his partner, Bernie Starr, in July, and they run a local real estate firm.
He expects to make a decision on a campaign later this fall.
“If people really want to change things, the most compelling thing we can do is change the people we send down there,” he said. “That is the only way we are going to change.”
Staff writer Jonathan Phelps can be reached at 978-338-2527 or by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at JPhelps_SN.