Few Republican challengers in Massachusetts congressional races

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July 15, 2014

By Jennifer Springer

Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts: The general election ballot in Massachusetts is shaping up to be extremely uncompetitive. In six of the state’s nine districts, no Republican candidate filed to run.[1] Of those six, five of the Democratic incumbents are facing no opposition at all in 2014.[2][3][4] Richard Neal, James McGovern, Joseph Kennedy, Michael Capuano and Stephen Lynch are virtually guaranteed re-election, as they do not face any Democratic or Republican opponents.[2]

Massachusetts ballot access for primaries is the most restrictive in the nation, requiring 2,000 signatures for a candidate to get on a primary ballot--more than the primary requirement in any other state.[4]

Only three districts actually had a Republican candidate file to run. They include:

  • Massachusetts' 6th Congressional District: Heading into the election the incumbent was John Tierney (D), who was first elected in 1996. He faces four primary challengers in the Democratic primary. He potentially faces a re-match with Republican candidate Richard Tisei in his bid for re-election.
    • Tierney is a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Frontline Program. The program was designed to help protect vulnerable Democratic incumbents heading into the 2014 election.[5]
    • The 2012 election race was a close race, with John Tierney securing victory with a 1.1% margin of victory. The district has been evaluated as leaning Democrat, with Cook Political Report giving it a Partisan Voter Index of D+7.[8] One of the major factors that contributed to the closeness of the race was competitor Richard Tisei's ability to out raise and out spend Tierney.[9] Tisei's efforts were bolstered by his own standing as a liberal and openly gay Republican, as well as the controversy surrounding Tierney's wife's legal problems.[10]

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