When Marblehead native Seth Moulton defeated incumbent John Tierney in last month’s primary race for the 6th Congressional District, he realized there were still several difficult tasks ahead of him, and job number one was to convince long time Tierney supporters that he can get the job done.
“You don’t win an election based on a resume,” Moulton told a gathering of 3T&2C committee members in Salisbury last week. “You’ve got to earn the trust and support of voters.”
Moulton has gained the support of the entire Massachusetts democratic delegation, but is now working to reach as many voters in the district as possible. (Click here to read about efforts of the coordinated Democratic campaigns to reach voters during this midterm election.)
He met with local democrats for more than two hours, talking about his top campaign issues and answering personal and political questions. Since he has no electoral background, he drew on his military experience, Harvard education, and public school experience to illustrate how he would handle political matters.
He began his discussion by pointing out the different economic development challenges faced by a district with such diverse cities as Lynn and Gloucester.
“Unemployment is higher here (than) the state average, and there are lot of towns like Lynn that have lost thousands of jobs over the last 20 or 30 years.”
Moulton will soon release a new economic development plan for Lynn. He is also working with environmental and economic development groups to develop new strategies for fisherman in Gloucester who will be hit with severe restrictive cod fishing limits in the near future.
Moulton then turned to education, addressing topics as diverse as Pre-K to post-college loan pressures.
“(Education) is not only important to our country, but it’s very personal to me,” Moulton said, crediting the fact that he has gotten to this point thanks to an excellent education starting at his local public school.
“A lot of kids even here in Massachusetts . . . don’t have that opportunity because their school is not up to standards,” Moulton told the crowd. “I don’t think there is anyone who can argue that there is no better investment in our future than ensuring a great education for our kids.
As a recent college graduate, Moulton feels the pressures of monstrous student loan obligations. “There is a lot that needs to be done,” he says. He has already reached out to Senator Elizabeth Warren to craft agendas to meet those needs.
Moulton then turned to the challenges that many veterans face when returning from combat tours overseas.
“There is widespread recognition that we need to do more for our veterans,” he says. Moulton knows a bit about those challenges himself, as he receives his healthcare from the Veterans’ Administration.
“But it’s not just about taking care of veterans when they come home,” he says, “it’s also ensuring that veterans can go and help the country in the future.”
He illustrates this point by explaining that war veterans from World War Two were not called “The Greatest Generation” upon returning from that conflict. Instead, the phrase was coined during the 1990’s, emphasizing veterans actions after the war as much as during the war.
“I think that should be true for our veterans today.”
Finally, Moulton pointed to the issues of women’s rights as essential to the national conversation and this election, particularly the issue of pay equality.
“When I worked for Gen. Petraeus in Iraq, I had a small team of Marines. One of my teammates was a woman,” he says. “We did the same work, we got the same pay. If we can do that in the military, we ought to be able to do it in corporate America.”
To that end, Moulton wants to put a system in place that certifies companies practicing pay equity.
From there Moulton answered several questions regarding the current crisis involving ISIS in Iraq, reemphasizing the need for more veterans in legislative positions.
“We need to have people in Congress who have the experience on the ground in the middle east, but also with the credibility in the military . . . to ask the toughest questions of our congress and our president, before putting our troops in harms way.”
Click to visit Seth Moulton’s campaign website.