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Massachusetts' 5th Congressional District special election, 2013

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The 5th Congressional District of Massachusetts held a special election for the U.S. House in 2013. The primary election was held on October 15, 2013, with the general election on December 10, 2013.[1]

The special election was held to fill the vacancy left by the special election victory by Rep. Ed Markey for the vacant Senate seat.[2] Markey won election to the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts, for the seat vacated by John Kerry, on June 25, 2013.[3][4]

Massachusetts' 5th Congressional District was considered a safe Democratic district.[5]

Massachusetts is one of 21 states with a mixed primary system. Unaffiliated voters are allowed to vote in the primary election. They may choose which party ballot they wish to vote on and still remain unaffiliated.[6]

Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
August 14, 2013[7]
October 15, 2013
December 10, 2013


General election

Democratic Party Katherine ClarkApproveda
Republican Party Frank Addivinola
Independent James Aulenti
Independent James Hall

Primary candidates



Declined to run

Election results

General elections

U.S. House, Massachusetts District 5 General Special Election, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngKatherine Clark 66% 40,303
     Republican Frank Addivinola 31.6% 19,328
     Independent James Aulenti 1.6% 996
     Justice, Peace, Security Party James Hall 0.7% 452
Total Votes 61,079
Source: Results via Massachusetts Elections Division

Primary elections

Democratic Primary

U.S. House, Massachusetts District 5 Special Democratic Primary, 2013
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngKatherine Clark 31.6% 21,983
Peter Koutoujian 22% 15,303
Carl Sciortino 16% 11,160
Will Brownsberger 14.6% 10,163
Karen Spilka 13.1% 9,088
John Paul Maisano 2.2% 1,520
Martin Long 0.6% 398
Total Votes 69,615
Source: Official Results from Massachusetts Elections Division

Republican Primary

U.S. House, Massachusetts District 5 Special Republican Primary, 2013
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngFrank Addivinola 49.1% 4,760
Tom Tierney 25.6% 2,478
Mike Stopa 25.3% 2,457
Total Votes 9,695
Source: Official Results from Massachusetts Elections Division



Carl Sciortino

See also: United States involvement in Syria

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) joined Carl Sciortino in a conference call on September 9, 2013, against military intervention in Syria.[15]

“I question what message a military strike will send if followed by additional bloodshed,” Sciortino said. Sciortino also added that the United States needed to seek a political solution through diplomacy and a negotiated ceasefire.[15]

Katherine Clark

See also: United States involvement in Syria

State Senator Katherine Clark said she did not believe the case was made for military action in Syria.

"I am closely following this important debate, but based on the information publicly available I still have serious questions. I don't think the case has been made that U.S. military action is the best way to move forward, and if the vote were held today I would vote no,” Clark said in a statement.[15]

Peter Koutoujian

See also: United States involvement in Syria

Middlesex County Sheriff Peter Koutoujian said he was worried about the consequences of military action.

“I continue to have deep reservations about the United States taking any action that is not done in close conjunction with our allies in the region and the international community as a whole. In the shadows of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, I also have serious concerns about the potential unforeseen consequences of a strike in that region that do not serve our long term interests. For those reasons, I do not support the resolution before Congress at this time,” Koutoujian said.[15]

Karen Spilka

See also: United States involvement in Syria

State Senator Karen Spilka called the actions of Syrian president Bashar Assad's regime “appalling.”

“...But I have not been convinced that a military response by the United States will stop this horror. I applaud the President's decision to seek Congressional approval for the use of force in Syria but need further explanation for why military action is the best way forward to protect innocent civilians in Syria as well as our own national interests,” she said.

Will Brownsberger

See also: United States involvement in Syria

State Senator Will Brownsberger also said he opposed the use of force. “After the best reflection I can give the matter from where I currently sit, I have concluded that, were I already seated in Congress, I would vote against the present resolution authorizing bombing of Syria. I believe that it is in America's long term interest to take a principled approach to foreign policy and that the presently proposed bombing cannot be justified on a principled basis,” Brownsberger said in a statement.[15] Brownsberger also said the U.S. should increase humanitarian aid to refugees.[15]

Mass Mentoring Partnership

Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP), an organization in Massachusetts that advocated for youth mentoring, announced it drafted the Massachusetts Mentoring Agenda in order to educate the candidates on the national priorities of youth mentoring in Massachusetts.[16]

The agenda was endorsed by five of the candidates running for office: Will Brownsberger, Katherine Clark, Carl Sciortino, Karen Spilka and Martin Long.[16]

“Mass Mentoring Partnership urges all candidates for the 5th Congressional District office to endorse the Massachusetts Mentoring Agenda and join us in this critical work of strengthening communities through mentoring,” said MMP President and CEO Marty Martinez.[16]

Running in multiple elections

Mike Stopa issued a statement on September 26, 2013, about Frank Addivinola, who ran in both municipal elections and the 5th District special election.[17]

Addivinola, who listed his address as Boston, would have been legally required to move into the 5th District in order to take office if he would have won.[17]

“Mr. Addivinola has every right to run in these elections and I can see no question that any law is being broken. He cannot, however, hold both offices at the same time and if he should win the municipal race he would be forced to either resign that seat or else drop out of the race for Congress. I believe that his double run will lead the voters to question how seriously Mr. Addivinola takes his participation in either race,” Stopa posted on his campaign website.[17]

Wiretapping statute

Democratic candidate Karen Spilka attacked Katherine Clark in a debate on October 8, 2013, after Clark sponsored a bill updating the state’s wiretapping statute.[18] When Spilka was asked a question about government surveillance, Spilka replied, “Katherine has a bill that expands the scope of surveillance.”[18]

The group Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) subsequently launched a series of online ads on October 9, 2013, targeting Clark for the wiretapping bill.[18] “Katherine Clark supports invasive wiretapping,” one ad states. “Clark is the lead sponsor on a bill which would give police more power to listen to private conversations.”[18]

Republican candidates

All three Republican candidates--Frank Addivinola, Tom Tierney and Mike Stopa-- opposed the 2013 Senate immigration bill and all supported the Citizens United decision. Tom Tierney and Frank Addivinola described themselves as “prolife,” and opposed to abortion rights, while Mike Stopa says that he was personally opposed to abortion but that “Roe v. Wade is settled law.[19]


Katherine Clark

Katherine Clark's first video of the campaign, "Test."

Katherine Clark's second ad, "Heartbroken."

Katherine Clark's third ad, "Issues.

Carl Sciortino

Carl Sciortino's September 2013 ad, "Father's son."

Peter Koutoujian

Peter Koutoujian's first ad of the campaign, "It's About You."

Peter Koutoujian's second ad of the campaign, "There for Me."

Campaign donors

Pre-primary report

In a pre-primary report from July 1 through September 25, 2013, candidates reported their fundraising totals going into the primary election.[20] Peter Koutoujian reported raising $608,000 and had $690,000 cash-on-hand.[20]Katherine Clark reported raising $374,000, which included a $250,000 personal loan, and had $394,000 cash-on-hand.[20] Carl Sciortino reported raising $266,000 and had $285,000 cash-on-hand.[20] Will Brownsberger reported raising $214,000, with $293,000 cash-on-hand.[20]Karen Spilka raised $207,000, with $132,000 cash-on-hand.[20][21]

In the days prior to the primary election, Koutoujian had raised about $919,160, and in the beginning of October had added at least another $60,000 in contributions of more than $200.[22] Katherine Clark came in second, having raised about $863,704 as of September 25, 2013.[22] Since the beginning of October, she received more than $30,000 in additional donations.[22]

In spending, Clark led. She reported a total of $470,099 paid out as of the end of September 2013, with Koutoujian reporting spending a total of $228,870.[22]

Second quarter

Peter Koutoujian led the field in fund-raising in the three months from April 2013 through June 2013 — the second quarter of the year.[23] He raised approximately $308,000, ending the quarter with about $290,000 in the bank, according to his campaign.[23] State senator Katherine Clark reported having more than $400,000 in the bank on June 30 after raising $228,000 in the quarter, according to her campaign.[23]State representative Carl Sciortino raised $203,000 in the quarter and had more than $270,000 in his account on June 30.[23] State senator Karen Spilka raised more than $200,000, and had over $200,000 in the bank at the end of last month.[23] State senator Will Brownsberger raised $130,000 and had $290,000 in cash on hand as of June 30, 2013.[23]

Pre-special report

State Senator Katherine Clark (D) far outraised her Republican opponent, Frank Addivinola, according to Federal Election Commission reports from November 29, 2013.[24]

According to the report, Clark raised $1.18 million during the special election cycle, including $323,000 in the reporting period from October 1, 2013, to November 20, 2013. She loaned herself $250,000 in September 2013, prior to the Democratic primary.[24]

Addivinola raised just $27,000 during the same reporting period and less than $40,000 during the entire election campaign, as well as a $61,000 loan to his campaign.[24] He spent almost no money campaigning – less than $10,000 – and reported having $96,000 in the bank just prior to the December 10, 2013, special election.[24]

Clark spent more than $1 million, and had $246,000 left in the bank as of November 20, 2013.[24]


Republican primary

It was announced on September 19, 2013, that all three Republican candidates agreed to participate in a September 29, 2013, debate hosted by Framingham State University.[25] The event was sponsored by the Republican town committees of: Ashland, Framingham, Holliston, Natick, Southborough and Wayland.[25] Former congressman Peter Blute was the moderator.[25]


Carl Sciortino

  • Former Rep. Dennis Kucinich endorsed Carl Sciortino on October 9, 2013.[26]
    • “The people of this district have a real opportunity to elect not just a worthy successor to Sen. (Edward) Markey but someone who’s been tested in the Massachusetts legislature on a wide range of social and economic issues, which resonate at a national level,” Kucinich said in his endorsement.[26]
  • On October 2, 2013, Gov. Deval Patrick’s daughter Katherine endorsed Sciortino.[27]
    • “This is the first campaign I have gotten to endorse in ... other than my dad’s,” Patrick said in a statement.[27]
    • She praised Sciortino’s work on LGBT rights, the law requiring a protest-free buffer zone around reproductive health clinics, closing corporate tax loopholes and supporting investments in infrastructure. Patrick also praised Sciortino’s decision to launch his state house career by challenging and unseating Vincent Ciampa of Somerville in 2004.[27]
  • The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) – the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization – announced the endorsement of Carl Sciortino (D) on July 11, 2013.[28]
  • The Bay State Stonewall Democrats (BSSD) announced their endorsement of Carl Sciortino on August 30, 2013.[29]
    • “There is a clear difference between the candidates in this race, and Carl Sciortino’s unwavering commitment to the LGBT community in the State House made this endorsement an easy decision. His willingness to lead the tough fights and build the coalitions to win those fights, is what gave him the edge in our endorsement process” said BSSD co-chair Steve Iannaccone.[29]
  • The co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Raul Grijalva and Keith Ellison, announced their endorsements for Carl Sciortino on September 17, 2013.[30]
    • “Carl Sciortino is the real thing. He is the consistent progressive in the race, having led the fight for the issues we progressives care about for almost 10 years in the state legislature—a higher minimum wage, closing corporate tax-loopholes, protecting a woman’s right to choose, the list goes on and on. Carl Sciortino’s ability to take on these tough fights, and win them, will be an incredible asset to the Progressive Caucus in Congress,” Grijalva and Ellison said in a joint statement.[30]
  • The healthcare organization MassCare announced its endorsement of Sciortino on September 19, 2013.[31] “We are proud to announce our support of this great candidate, Carl Sciortino. Our organization has been grateful to have Carl as a strong advocate for single payer health care in Massachusetts. Carl has taken a leadership role in the efforts for passage of legislation to institute a single payer system in Massachusetts. If single payer is your issue, Carl Sciortino is the clear choice in this race,” said MassCare’s Executive Director Ture Richard Turnbull.[31]
    • Sciortino said, “Single payer health care is the most cost-effective way to deliver health care to all Americans. I fully support MassCare’s mission to institute single payer health care in Massachusetts, and I have been proud work with them. I am the only one in this race who has been a consistent supporter of single payer health care, and I’m running for Congress to be a consistent progressive voice in Washington."[31]
  • The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) announced on September 18, 2013, its endorsement for Sciortino.[32]
    • It was the PCCC's first endorsement of the 2014 cycle. It had more than 5,000 members in the district, more than 33,000 members in Massachusetts and nearly 1 million members across the country.[33]

Peter Koutoujian

Both the International Brotherhood of Correctional Officers (IBCO) and the Middlesex Sheriff’s Superior Officers Association (MSSOA/NAGE Local 57) endorsed Peter Koutoujian in August 2013.[34]

Katherine Clark

  • Clark received an endorsement from MetroWest Daily News on December 8, 2013.[35]
  • The Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts endorsed Clark on December 1, 2013.[37]
    • “The Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts are proud to endorse state Sen. Katherine Clark for U.S. Representative. As a legislator she’s worked to ensure we have the resources to do our jobs and keep the public safe, and we have no doubt she’ll continue that fight on Capitol Hill. Katherine knows that our public safety officials put their lives on the line for us each and every day. She has always supported these working families and will continue to fight to make sure workers earn a fair wage, have safe and secure working conditions, and have access to the benefits they need to allow them to care for their families,” Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts President Ed Kelly said.[37]
  • Massachusetts League of Environmental Voters (MLEV) endorsed Katherine Clark on November 23, 2013.[38]
    • “Sen. Clark has been at the forefront of environmental advocacy in the state Legislature, fighting for increased funding for public transit, advocating for renewable energy, reducing toxic substances in manufacturing and seeking expansion of the bottle bill, just to name a few. Her support for addressing climate change through energy efficiency, reduction of fossil fuel dependency and clean energy production make endorsing her candidacy for the Massachusetts 5th Congressional District an easy decision,” said Chuck Anastas, chairman of MLEV’s Board of Directors.[38]
  • Clark received an endorsement from The Boston Globe on October 10, 2013.[40]
  • Clark received an endorsement from EMILY'S List.[41]
    • “Katherine Clark has an impressive record fighting for women and families in her community, and her effective leadership is exactly what Washington needs. From the school committee in Melrose to the state Senate in Boston, Katherine has been a champion for children and has put the safety of Massachusetts families first. … The EMILY’s List community — now more than two million members strong — is excited to continue supporting Katherine’s strong campaign, so that she can block Republican extremists from attacking women’s rights and opportunities and move our country forward,” EMILY'S List President Stephanie Schriock said in a release.[41]


Democratic primary

Democratic primary candidates
Poll Katherine Clark Karen SpilkaPeter KoutoujianWill BrownsbergerCarl SciortinoUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Emerson College Polling
October 2-8, 2013
Gerstein Bocian Agne
September 23-25, 2013
Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research
September 22-24, 2013
Emerson College Polling
September 13-17, 2013
Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research
July 18-23, 2013
AVERAGES 21.6% 16% 15.2% 13.8% 8.6% 23.8% +/-4.54 472.6
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

Republican primary

Republican primary candidates
Poll Tom Tierney Frank AddivinolaMike StopaUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Emerson College Polling
September 13-17, 2013
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

District history

Candidate ballot access
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See also: Massachusetts' 5th Congressional District elections, 2012

The 5th District of Massachusetts held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012. Incumbent Niki Tsongas (D) ran for the 3rd District seat due to redistricting in 2012. The 7th District incumbent Ed Markey won the 5th District seat. He defeated Tom Tierney (R) in the general election.[42]

U.S. House, Massachusetts District 5 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngEd Markey Incumbent 70.7% 257,490
     Republican Tom Tierney 22.8% 82,944
     N/A All Others 0.2% 675
     N/A Blank Votes 6.3% 23,092
Total Votes 364,201
Source: Massachusetts Secretary of State "Return of Votes"

On November 2, 2010, Niki Tsongas won re-election to the United States House. She defeated Jon Golnik (R), Dale E. Brown (Liberty) and Robert M. Clark (Citizen Legislator) in the general election.[43]

U.S. House, Massachusetts District 5 General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngNiki Tsongas incumbent 54.8% 122,676
     Republican Jon Golnik 42.2% 94,501
     Liberty Dale E. Brown 2% 4,387
     Citizen Legislator Robert M. Clark 0.9% 1,991
     N/A All Others 0.1% 147
Total Votes 223,702

See also

External links


  1. Politico, "Special Massachusetts House election set," accessed July 16, 2013
  2., "Markey win sets up special election for House" accessed June 27, 2013 (dead link)
  3. WCVB TV, "Massachusetts U.S. Senate Special Election Results," accessed June 25, 2013, "Special Election Results" accessed June 25, 2013]
  4. WCVB, "2013 U.S. Senate Special Election Results," accessed April 30, 2013
  5. Roll Call, "Campaign Poll: Democrat Widens Lead in Massachusetts Special Primary | #MA05," accessed October 2, 2013
  6. Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Website, "Massachusetts Directory of Political Parties and Designations," accessed January 3, 2014
  7. Daily Times Chronicle, " Special election for Markey’s seat" accessed July 16, 2013
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 WBUR "State Rep. Carl Sciortino Announces Congressional Bid" accessed June 27, 2013
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4, "Markey win sets up special election for House" accessed June 27, 2013 (dead link)
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Daily Journal, "7 Democrats, 5 Republicans on ballot for special election in Mass. 5th Congressional District," accessed August 19, 2013
  11. Metro West Daily News, "Candidates in race to fill Markey's House seat" accessed July 31, 2013
  12. Wicked, "FIFTH DISTRICT RACE: GOP candidate Mike Stopa declares candidacy" accessed July 31, 2013
  13. 13.0 13.1 WBUR "Labor Makes Its First Foray Into Race To Succeed Markey" accessed June 27, 2013
  14. Boston Globe, "Five Democrats vying for Markey’s seat in US House" accessed July 31, 2013
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5, "U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson joins Mass. Congressional candidate Carl Sciortino to lay out case against military intervention in Syria," accessed September 10, 2013
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Wicked Local Medford, "FIFTH DISTRICT RACE: Candidates endorse Massachusetts Mentoring agenda," accessed September 11, 2013
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Wicked Local: Medford, "FIFTH DISTRICT RACE: Michael Stopa criticizes Frank Addivinola for running in multiple elections," accessed September 27, 2013
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3, "Progressive group attacks Massachusetts congressional candidate Katherine Clark over wiretapping bill," accessed October 10, 2013
  19. Boston Globe, "Seven Democrats, three Republicans vie for Markey seat," accessed October 13, 2013
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 20.5 Daily Kos, "October 7, 2013," accessed October 7, 2013
  21. NECN, "Koutoujian has fundraising edge in Mass. 5th race," accessed October 9, 2013 (dead link)
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 Open Secrets, "Koutoujian Leads Fundraising in Massachusetts Special Election," accessed October 14, 2013
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 23.5 Boston Globe, "Race to succeed Markey is gearing up" accessed July 12, 2013
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 24.4 "State Sen. Katherine Clark has raised more than $1.1 million in U.S. House special election," accessed November 29, 2013
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 Metrowest Daily News, "GOP congressional candidates debate Sept. 29," accessed September 20, 2013
  26. 26.0 26.1, "Former U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich endorses Massachusetts congressional candidate Carl Sciortino," accessed October 10, 2013
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 Wicked Local: Waltham, "Katherine Patrick endorses Sciortino in Fifth District," accessed October 4, 2013 (dead link)
  28. HRC "HRC Announces Endorsement of Carl Sciortino for Congress" accessed July 12, 2013
  29. 29.0 29.1 Wicked Local: Lexington, "FIFTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT: Greater Boston Stonewall Democrats endorsement Carl Sciortino for Congress," accessed September 2, 2013
  30. 30.0 30.1 Wicked Local, "FIFTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT: Carl Sciortino endorsed by Congressional Progressive Caucus chairs," accessed September 19, 2013
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 Wicked Local: Medford, "FIFTH DISTRICT RACE: Carl Sciortino endorsed by MassCare," accessed September 20, 2013
  32. Wicked Local: Melrose, "5th congressional race: Democrats battle with ideas, endorsements," accessed October 1, 2013
  33. Wicked LoCAL: Waltham, "Progressive Change Campaign Committee endorses Sciortino," accessed October 1, 2013 (dead link)
  34. Wicked Local, "FIFTH DISTRICT RACE: Peter Koutoujian kicks off campaign, earns endorsements," accessed August 14, 2013
  35. Metro West Daily News, "Editorial: Our endorsement in the 5th District - Katherine Clark," accessed December 9, 2013
  36., "Sen. Warren stumps for 5th District hopeful Clark," accessed December 5, 2013 (dead link)
  37. 37.0 37.1 Wicked Local: Waltham, "FIFTH DISTRICT RACE: Katherine Clark endorsed by the Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts," accessed December 2, 2013 (timed out)
  38. 38.0 38.1 Wicked Local Medford, "FIFTH DISTRICT RACE: Katherine Clark endorsed by Mass. League of Environmental Voters," accessed November 25, 2013 (timed out)
  39., "House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to campaign with Massachusetts congressional candidate Katherine Clark on Friday," accessed November 4, 2013
  40. Boston Globe, "Sense of mission makes Katherine Clark best choice for US House," accessed October 13, 2013
  41. 41.0 41.1 Roll Call, "EMILY’s List Endorses in Massachusetts Special | #MA05l," accessed September 23, 2013
  42. Politico, "2012 Election Map, Massachusetts"
  43. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013