Difference between revisions of "Massachusetts' 5th Congressional District special election, 2013"

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====Katherine Clark====
====Katherine Clark====
[[Massachusetts State Senate|State senator]] [[Katherine Clark]] received the endorsement of EMILY’s List on September 20, 2013, less before the October 15 primary.<ref name="emilyclark">[http://atr.rollcall.com/emilys-list-endorses-in-massachusetts-special-ma05/ ''Roll Call,'' "EMILY’s List Endorses in Massachusetts Special | #MA05l," accessed September 23, 2013]</ref>
[[Massachusetts State Senate|State senator]] [[Katherine Clark]] received the endorsement of EMILY’s List on September 20, 2013, less than a month before the October 15 primary.<ref name="emilyclark">[http://atr.rollcall.com/emilys-list-endorses-in-massachusetts-special-ma05/ ''Roll Call,'' "EMILY’s List Endorses in Massachusetts Special | #MA05l," accessed September 23, 2013]</ref>
The EMILY’s List endorsement is notable as the organization which seeks to boost progressive women into elected office chose [[Katherine Clark|Clark]] over [[Massachusetts State Senate|state senator]] [[Karen Spilka]] ([[Democratic|D]]).<ref name="emilyclark"/>
The EMILY’s List endorsement is notable as the organization which seeks to boost progressive women into elected office chose [[Katherine Clark|Clark]] over [[Massachusetts State Senate|state senator]] [[Karen Spilka]] ([[Democratic|D]]).<ref name="emilyclark"/>

Revision as of 08:32, 23 September 2013

Special Elections to the 113th Session of Congress, 2013-2014

U.S. Senate
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U.S. House
Illinois' 2nd DistrictMissouri's 8th DistrictSouth Carolina's 1st DistrictAlabama's 1st DistrictMassachusetts' 5th DistrictLouisiana's 5th DistrictFlorida's 13th DistrictNorth Carolina's 12th DistrictFlorida's 19th District

Other 2013-2014 Election coverage
2014 Congressional Elections2014 U.S. Senate Elections
2014 U.S. House Elections
The 5th congressional district of Massachusetts will hold a special election for the U.S. House in 2013. The primary election will be held on October 15, 2013, with the general election scheduled for December 10, 2013.[1]

The special election will be held to fill the upcoming vacancy that will be left by the special election victory by Rep. Ed Markey for the vacant Senate seat.[2]

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.[3]

Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
August 14, 2013[4]
October 15, 2013
December 10, 2013


Declared candidates

Potential candidates

Declined to run



Carl Sciortino

Representative Alan Grayson (D) joined candidate Carl Sciortino in a conference call on September 9, 2013 to argue against U.S. military intervention in Syria.[12]

Grayson, who endorsed Sciortino in August 2013, has been a leader in the U.S. House in opposing U.S. military intervention in Syria. Sciortino, a state representative, was the first among five Democratic elected officials running for Congress in Massachusetts’ 5th District to say he would oppose the use of military force in Syria. However, by September 9, 2013, all five Democrats had come out against the use of force.[12][13]

“I question what message a military strike will send if followed by additional bloodshed,” Sciortino said. Sciortino also said the U.S. needs to seek a political solution through diplomacy and a negotiated ceasefire.[12]

He said the U.S. must exhaust every diplomatic option before turning to the military. “I fear if we begin with a military option, it will lead to an escalation of war, not peace,” Sciortino said. He called on the other Democrats in his race to oppose the use of military force.[12]

Katherine Clark

State senator Katherine Clark said she does not believe the case has been made for military action. "I am closely following this important debate, but based on the information publicly available I still have serious questions,” Clark said in a statement. “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.”[12]

Peter Koutoujian

Middlesex County Sheriff Peter Koutoujian said he is 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,” Koutoujian said. “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.”[12]

Karen Spilka

State seantor 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,” she said. “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.” Spilka said there must be debate about the national security ramifications of any potential military action for the U.S. and the region.[12]

“We cannot become mired in another mess like Iraq especially with so many urgent problems here at home. Today – with the information I have – I am extremely skeptical of any military action, especially without support from the international community,” Spilka said. “I need clarification for what our goal is, how it will be accomplished and the assessed risks before I could consider supporting authorization for military action.”[12]

Will Brownsberger

State senator Will Brownsberger also said he would oppose 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,” Brownsberger said in a statement. “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.”[12]

Brownsberger said the U.S. should increase humanitarian aid to refugees. He would consider military action to prevent further humanitarian tragedy, but only if the U.S. can achieve broad backing from other democracies.[12]

Mass Mentoring Partnership

Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP), an organization in Massachusetts fueling the movement to expand quality youth mentoring, announced it has drafted the Massachusetts Mentoring Agenda in order to educate the candidates for the 5th Congressional District office on the national priorities of the youth mentoring field in Massachusetts and rally their support.[14]

The agenda has been endorsed by five of the candidates running for office: Will Brownsberger, Katherine Clark, Carl Sciortino, Karen Spilka and Martin Long.[14]

“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,” says MMP President and CEO Marty Martinez.[14]


Katherine Clark's second ad, "Heartbroken."

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

Katherine Clark aired her first television ad on September 13, 2013.[15] The campaign will run ads through the October 15, 2013 primary.[15] The initial ad buy, estimated to be approximately $60,000, will run the first ad on six cable markets in the district: Cambridge, Lexington, Malden, Newton, Revere and Woburn.[15]

She is the first candidate to go on air in the five-person Democratic primary field.[15]

She released her second ad, “Heartbroken,” which tells the story of Clark’s grandmother, a World War II machinist.[16]

“She’d be heartbroken about how Republicans treat women,” the ad says.[16]

Carl Sciortino starting running an ad in September 2013 that recalls "coming out to his father." However, the ad does not discuss sexuality.[17] Instead, Sciortino discusses the moment when he revealed his positions on gun control, abortion rights, tax reform, pay equity, and equality for All Americans, to his Tea-Party aligned father.[17]

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

“My father and I disagree on just about everything. I am grateful that he was willing to appear in my TV ad even though he probably thinks he should be running against me,” Sciortino said.[17]

His father responded by saying, “My son is a Massachusetts Liberal and, what’s worse, he’s proud of it. But I love him anyway.”[17]

Campaign donors

Peter Koutoujian has led the field in fund-raising in the three months from April 2013 through June 2013 — the second quarter of the year.[18] He raised approximately $308,000, ending the quarter with about $290,000 in the bank, according to his campaign.[18] 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.[18]State representative Carl Sciortino raised $203,000 in the quarter and had more than $270,000 in his account on June 30.[18] State senator Karen Spilka raised more than $200,000, and had over $200,000 in the bank at the end of last month.[18] State senator Will Brownsberger raised $130,000 and had $290,000 in cash on hand as of June 30, 2013.[18]


Democratic primary

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) ran a unique online debate at 11 am on August 10, 2013, featuring all five Democratic candidates.[19]

State Sens. Will Brownsberger, Katherine Clark and Karen Spilka, Middlesex County Sheriff Peter Koutoujian and State Rep. Carl Sciortino all participated in the group's debate.[19]

The debate ran through the website OpenDebateQuestions.com, which the PCCC is debuting for this event. The public submitted questions and voted on which questions they like. Massachusetts voters then chose the top 50 questions, and moderators chose from those questions to ask the candidates. The candidates participated via video from remote locations. So far, people have submitted more than 300 questions.Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; refs with no content must have a name

Matt Wall, a PCCC spokesman and Boston resident, said the organization hopes the online debate platform will become the norm in local, state, congressional and even presidential debates. "Too often, questions asked at debates are not truly what the public cares about," Wall said. "Open debates, where the public submits and votes on the questions, will hopefully be a game changer in our political process.”[19]

The PCCC, a national liberal organization, was active in helping Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren get elected in Massachusetts in 2012.[19]

Following the August 10, 2013, debate, David Kravitz at Blue Mass Group rounded up data from the group Progressive Massachusetts, which has highlighted 37 state senate roll calls, and identified a "progressive" position.[20]

Candidates took part in a candidate forum in Watertown, Massachusetts on September 10, 2013.[21]

Seven hopefuls seeking the seat -- Will Brownsberger, Katherine Clark, Martin Long, Paul John Maisano, Peter Koutoujian, Carl Sciortino and Karen Spilka -- attended the event.[21]

The forum was moderated by former state senator George Bachrach and was broken into two segments. The first part was a moderated discussion, which was then followed by a more informal meet and greet.[21]

The first in-person debate took place on September 12, 2013.[22] The debate, dubbed a "Progressive Forum" for the Democratic candidates, took place at Lesley University in Cambridge and was sponsored by a number of groups including 350 Massachusetts, Better Future Project, Democratic Socialists of America, Massachusetts Peace Action, National Organization for Women, Progressive Democrats of America and Progressive Democrats of Massachusetts.[22][23]

Republican primary

It was announced on September 19, 2013, the all three Republican candidates agreed to participate in a September 29, 2013, debate hosted by Framingham State University. [24] The event is sponsored by the Republican town committees of: Ashland, Framingham, Holliston, Natick, Southborough and Wayland.[24] Former congressman Peter Blute will be the moderator.[24]


Carl Sciotino

Human Rights Campaign

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.[25]

Bay State Stonewall Democrats

The Bay State Stonewall Democrats (BSSD) announced their endorsement of Carl Sciortino on August 30, 2013.[26]

“There is a clear difference between the candidates in this race,” said BSSD co-chair Steve Iannaccone, “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.”[26]

“Carl’s tireless work on LGBT issues, especially Marriage Equality and the Transgender Equal Rights Bill, were important factors when deciding to make this endorsement,” stated Claire Naughton, co-chair of the BSSD, “and we are proud to support him in this race so he can bring that work to the U.S. House.”[26]

Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chairs

The co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Congressman Raúl Grijalva and Congressman Keith Ellison, announced their endorsement of Carl Sciortino on September 17, 2013.[22]

“Carl Sciortino is the real thing,” Grijalva and Ellison said in a joint statement. “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.”[22]

Sciortino responded by saying, “Congressman Grijalva and Congressman Ellison are courageously fighting for progressive policies in Washington and I am thrilled to have their endorsement. I am the only one in this race who has a consistent progressive record on privacy rights, workers rights, immigration rights and protecting the environment. This election for me isn’t about climbing the political ladder, it’s about strengthening the national progressive movement.”[22]


The healthcare organization MassCare announced its endorsement of Sciortino on September 19, 2013.[27] “We are proud to announce our support of this great candidate, Carl Sciortino,” said MassCare’s Executive Director Ture Richard Turnbull. “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.”[27]

“Single payer health care is the most cost-effective way to deliver health care to all Americans,” said Sciortino, a candidate for Congress in the 5th District. “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.”[27]

Karen Spilka

Two unions, UFCW Locals 791 and 328, announced their support for state senator Karen Spilka on August 1, 2013.[28] The Plumbers and Gasfitters Local 12 endorsed Spilka on August 20, 2013.[29]Karen stands up for working families. We trust her to go to Congress and fight for a living wage, to ensure that health care is accessible and affordable, to defend social security and Medicare and to protect our right to organize and collectively bargain,” said Business Agent Harry Brett. “Karen puts the interests of the middle class first and doesn’t back down from taking on the special interests on our behalf.”

As of August 2013, Spilka had the support of 27 labor organizations.[29]

The Pipefitters Local 537 endorsed state Karen Spilka on September 8, 2013, becoming the 32nd labor organization to back her campaign.[30]

"Karen is the obvious choice for Congress because she fights for working families no matter what," said Leo Fahey, business manager of Local 537. "It is clear that she understands the concerns of working families and she is unafraid to stand up to the powerful special interests on their behalf. The big banks, the insurance companies and the lobbyists already have enough power in Washington; we need Karen to go fight for us."[30]

Peter Koutoujian

Both the International Brotherhood of Correctional Officers (IBCO) and the Middlesex Sheriff’s Superior Officers Association (MSSOA/NAGE Local 57) announced endorsements for Peter Koutoujian in August 2013.[31]

Katherine Clark

State senator Katherine Clark received the endorsement of EMILY’s List on September 20, 2013, less than a month before the October 15 primary.[32]

The EMILY’s List endorsement is notable as the organization which seeks to boost progressive women into elected office chose Clark over state senator Karen Spilka (D).[32]

“Katherine Clark has an impressive record fighting for women and families in her community, and her effective leadership is exactly what Washington needs,” EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock said in a release. “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.”[32]


Democratic primary

Democratic primary candidates
Poll Katherine Clark Karen SpilkaPeter KoutoujianWill BrownsbergerCarl SciortinoUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research
July 18-23, 2013
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. 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 editor@ballotpedia.org.

District history


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.[33]

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.[34]

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. Boston.com "Markey win sets up special election for House" Accessed June 27, 2013
  3. Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Website, "Massachusetts Directory of Political Parties and Designations," accessed January 3, 2014
  4. Daily Times Chronicle " Special election for Markey’s seat" Accessed July 16, 2013
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 WBUR "State Rep. Carl Sciortino Announces Congressional Bid" Accessed June 27, 2013
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Boston.com "Markey win sets up special election for House" Accessed June 27, 2013
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Daily Journal, "7 Democrats, 5 Republicans on ballot for special election in Mass. 5th Congressional District," accessed August 19, 2013
  8. Metro West Daily News "Candidates in race to fill Markey's House seat" Accessed July 31, 2013
  9. Wicked Local.com "FIFTH DISTRICT RACE: GOP candidate Mike Stopa declares candidacy" Accessed July 31, 2013
  10. 10.0 10.1 WBUR "Labor Makes Its First Foray Into Race To Succeed Markey" Accessed June 27, 2013
  11. Boston Globe "Five Democrats vying for Markey’s seat in US House" Accessed July 31, 2013
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 12.7 12.8 12.9 Masslive.com, "U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson joins Mass. Congressional candidate Carl Sciortino to lay out case against military intervention in Syria," accessed September 10, 2013
  13. Carl Sciortino for Congress, "My Thoughts on Syria," accessed September 10, 2013
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Wicked Local Medford, "FIFTH DISTRICT RACE: Candidates endorse Massachusetts Mentoring agenda," accessed September 11, 2013
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Roll Call, "First Candidate on Television in Massachusetts Special Election | #MA05," accessed September 17, 2013
  16. 16.0 16.1 Roll Call, "First Candidate on Television in Massachusetts Special Election | #MA05," accessed September 18, 2013
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Towleroad.com, "Gay Congressional Candidate 'Came Out' to Tea Party Father...as a 'Proud Massachusetts Liberal' — VIDEO," accessed September 17, 2013
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 Boston Globe "Race to succeed Markey is gearing up" Accessed July 12, 2013
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 Mass Live.com "Progressive group to hold online debate in Massachusetts 5th District congressional race" Accessed August 6, 2013
  20. Blue Mass Group, "Checking out the MA-5 candidates’ voting records, via Progressive Massachusetts," accessed August 13, 2013
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Lexington Patch, "Congressional Candidates to Participate in Forum," accessed September 10, 2013
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 Progressive Democrats of America, "MA - CD-05 Progressive Forum," accessed September 4, 2013
  23. MassLive.com, "5th District congressional candidates to hold first in-person debate next week," accessed September 4, 2013
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 Metrowest Daily News, "GOP congressional candidates debate Sept. 29," accessed September 20, 2013
  25. HRC "HRC Announces Endorsement of Carl Sciortino for Congress" Accessed July 12, 2013
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 Wicked Local: Lexington, "FIFTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT: Greater Boston Stonewall Democrats endorsement Carl Sciortino for Congress," accessed September 2, 2013
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 Wicked Local: Medford, "FIFTH DISTRICT RACE: Carl Sciortino endorsed by MassCare," accessed September 20, 2013
  28. Framingham Patch "15th Labor Union Endorses Sen. Spilka for Congress" Accessed August 7, 2013
  29. 29.0 29.1 Wicked Local.com, "FIFTH DISTRICT RACE: Karen Spilka earns Plumbers and Gasfitters endorsement," accessed August 21, 2013
  30. 30.0 30.1 Wicked Local, "Spilka receives pipefitters union endorsement in 5th District race," accessed September 9, 2013
  31. Wicked Local, "FIFTH DISTRICT RACE: Peter Koutoujian kicks off campaign, earns endorsements," accessed August 14, 2013
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 Roll Call, "EMILY’s List Endorses in Massachusetts Special | #MA05l," accessed September 23, 2013
  33. Politico "2012 Election Map, Massachusetts"
  34. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013