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Incumbent John Tierney (D) 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.[1] 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.[2] 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.[3] 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.[4] Tisei was also included in the National Republican Congressional Committee's Young Guns program.[5] This program highlights challengers who represent the GOP's best chances to pick up congressional seats in the general election.[6] However,Tierney has historically done well in his district, winning the previous election by a 13% margin of victory. Consequently, despite the strong hits he took as a result of his wife's troubles and being outspent by his opponent, Tierney was able to retain a sufficient portion of his base to win re-election.

Politico published a list in August 2013 of the five primaries to watch in 2014. Massachusetts' 6th Congressional District was included on the list.[7]

Vulnerable after the scandal surrounding his wife, Tierney barely managed to win re-election in 2012.[7] In 2010, Patrice Tierney pleaded guilty to helping her brother file false tax returns in connection with his operation of an illegal offshore casino.[7] Republicans criticized Tiernery about his wife, alleging that he was fully aware of her conduct.[7] he ultimately defeated Richard Tisei (D) by fewer than 4,000 votes — or 1 percent of the vote -- in the general election.

Tisei, a former state house minority leader, is running again in 2014.[7] This time, Tierney has an added obstacle for re-election, a Democratic primary. Seth Moulton, a Harvard-educated former Marine, launched a campaign to unseat the congressman. He has recruited veteran Democratic strategist Joe Trippi to help with his campaign.[7] Also running is Marisa DeFranco (D), an attorney who ran unsuccessfully for Senate in 2012.[7]