The Boston Globe - 08.08.2019

(Joyce) #1

A10 Nation/Region The Boston Globe THURSDAY, AUGUST 8, 2019


Committee, one of the mostin-
fluential posts in Washington.
Regardless of whether
Morse prevails, he is part of a
larger generation of politicians
emboldened to take on their el-
ders, and tear away at the com-
forts of incumbency in the
Commonwealth.But it remains
to be seen if even the strongest
entrants in the state’s 2020 con-
gressional primaries will grow
into serious contenders.
“The era of waiting your
turn is beingdismantled, and
people are increasingly going to
agitate for positions,” said Peter
Ubertaccio,a politicalscience
professor at StonehillCollege.
“We live in a state that is used
to, in its history, people serving
forever, and I’m not sure that’s
what the future is going to look
like.”
Variouselected officialsmay
still end up serving for very long
periods, but they can expect
“many morebumps to theirre-
nominationthanthere had
been in the past,” he predicted.
In 2016,not a single mem-
ber of the Massachusetts dele-
gationfaceda primary chal-
lenger. But withmorethana
year to go, half of the 10 delega-
tion members up for reelection
in the fall 2020primary have
drawn challengers — and more
may be coming.
Senator EdwardJ. Markey,
the delegation’s longest-serving
member (he has been in Con-
gress since 1976), so far has two
primary opponents,both new-
comers:ShannonLiss-Riordan,
a high-profile laborattorney,
and Steve Pemberton, a former
foster child who becamean ex-
ecutive and author.
And Massachusetts political
circles are rife with speculation
a bigger name could jumpin.
Politico recentlyreported that a
telephone poll was testing a
one-on-onerace between Mar-
key and Representative Joseph
P. Kennedy III. It’s not clear
whopaidfor the survey, and
Kennedy has said he doesn’t
plan to challenge Markey.
Meanwhile, on the North
Shore, two fellow Democrats
are trying to oust Representa-
tive Seth Moulton,who says he


uCHALLENGERS
Continued fromPageA


will run for reelection if he loses
his long-shotbid for president.
And thereare at least a half-
dozen otherpeople who are re-
portedly weighing the prospect
of takinghim on in the Sixth
Congressional District.
Moulton rocketed into poli-
tics by defeating a long-serving
Democrat, John F. Tierney, in
2014 — whenit was basically
unheardof to challenge an in-
cumbent in a primary. And
now, ironically, Tierney, who
served in the House from 1997
to 2015,is amongthoseconsid-
ering challenging Moulton.
“He’s not afraid of democra-
cy,” said Moulton spokesman
Matt Corridoni.“His record
speaks for itself, [and] he’ll be
running for Congress again on
that record” if he doesn’t win
the presidential primary.
In the Eighth Congressional
District, BriannaWu, a video
gamedeveloper, is taking a sec-
ond run at unseating Represen-
tative StephenF. Lynch after he
handily beat back her first chal-
lenge last fall.
While drawing less notice,
otherchallengers have cropped
up:
Ihssane Leckey of Brookline
has declareda run against Ken-
nedy from the left, saying that
she wantsto alignherself with
progressive stars such as Press-
ley and Alexandria Ocasio-Cor-
tez of New York.
Whilea rematch is far from
set, Lori Trahanis girding for a
challenge fromone her former
rivals in the Lowell-based Third
District — Dan Koh, whomTra-
han beat in a recountby 145
votes. Without naming him,
Trahan,who hasn’t been in the
House a full yearyet, blasted
out a fund-raising e-mail earlier
this week warning that “one
former primary opponent
made it pretty clear last week
that he is running against me.”
Last month, Koh called on
Trahan to support impeach-
mentproceedings,and soonaf-
ter she decidedto backa con-
gressional inquiry. Koh has yet
to make an official move to seek
the seat again. And local news
reports indicate at least one fel-
low Democrat is eyeing a chal-
lenge of Representative Bill
Keating in the Ninth District.

The challenges are happen-
ing amid a nationwide surge in
Democratic voters who are
clamoring — and voting— for
more women, people of color,
and political outsidersto fight
Trump in Washington.
Morse, who made history as
Holyoke’s first gay mayor and
its youngest, said his strategy is
to expand the universe of voters


  • mobilizingfolkswho don’t
    usuallyparticipate in congres-
    sional primaries. It’s a playbook
    that Pressley usedto win last
    fall, and Morse has two top
    Pressley aides workingfor him:
    Wilnelia Rivera, who served as
    Pressley’s political strategist,
    and GinaChristo, Pressley’s fi-
    nance director during the 2018
    primary.
    “There’s an urgency in this


momentthat isn’t matchedby
our current representative in
Congress,” Morse said.
The current occupant of the
Oval Office providesinspiration
of anothersort. “There’s this
hair-on-firementality about
politics right now,” said Boston
Democratic strategist Mary
Anne Marsh. Democrats feel
like the country is burning,
“andno one can do enough to
try to put the fire out.”
That sentimentfactors into
Neal’s race against Morse. The
15-term congressmanhas
drawn the ire of some liberals
for not moving quickly enough
to seek Trump’s tax returns,
which his leadership post en-
ables him to do. And sinceNeal
suedearlier this year to get the
tax returns, the congressman
has beentakingheat fromthe
left for not beingmoreaggres-
sive in using every legal tool at
his disposal to challenge the
Trumpadministration’s recalci-

trance.
Neal is also part of a rapidly
shrinkingminority in the Mas-
sachusetts delegation who has
not said that he believes the
House shouldbegin impeach-
ment proceedings.
A spokesman for Neal’s cam-
paign referred the Globe to a
statementNeal put out when
Morse announced his bid for of-
fice: “We are fortunate to live in
a country whereeveryonecan
have his or her voiceheard by
running for office, and that’s
why Congressman Neal will
welcome anyoneinto this race.”
Still, political experts cau-
tion that the lessonprovided by
Pressley’s win — and others
around the country, such as Oc-
asio-Cortez’s — can’t be applied
too broadly. As earthshaking as
Pressley’s win was, she brought
to the contest strongties in
state political circles, in part
due to her yearsas an aideto
John F. Kerry whenhe was a
senator and later her nine years
as a Boston city councilor.
Pressley’s Seventh District —
the only majority-nonwhite dis-
trict in Massachusetts — is far
more liberal thanNeal’s in
Western Massachusetts. Some
townsin the suburbsof Spring-
field backed Trump in 2016.
Neal trounced his 2018pri-
mary opponentwith morethan
70 percent of the vote, and has
nearly$4 million to defend his
seat. A formerSpringfieldmay-
or, Neal also can cite his role in
securing federal support for nu-
merous projects in the district.
The editorial board of the
largest newspaperin the dis-
trict, The Republican, greeted
Morse’s announcementby de-
claring that it “comesat the
worst possibletime.” To vote
out Neal, it said, woulddimin-
ish Western Massachusetts’
clout in Washington and re-
move a rare politician who un-
derstandshow to compromise.
“Thereare probably many
districts in the country where a
candidate like Morse would be
an appealingreplacementfor
the incumbent, but this is not
one of them,” the editorial said.

Victoria McGrane
canbe reached at
victoria.mcgrane@globe.com.

Fights await Democratic incumbents


‘We livein a state

that is usedto,in

itshistory, people

serving[inoffice]

forever.’

PETER UBERTACCIO
Politicalscienceprofessor
at StonehillCollege

ByLindsey Tanner
ASSOCIATEDPRESS
CHICAGO — Pregnancy
started out rough for Leslie Siu.
Morningsicknessandmi-
graines had her reeling and
barelyable to function at a de-
mandingNew York marketing
job, so, like rising numbers of
US mothers-to-be,she turned
to marijuana.
‘‘l was finally able to get out
from under my work desk,’’ said
Siu, who later started her own
pot company andsays her
daughter, now 4, is thriving.
There’s no proof that canna-
bis can relieve morning sick-
ness, and mainstream medicine
advises against use in pregnan-
cy because of studies suggesting
it might causepremature birth,
low birthweight, and infant
brain deficits. But the National
Institute on DrugAbuse is
pressing for moresolidevi-
dence. Many of those studies
werein animalsor complicated
by marijuana users’ other hab-
its and lifestyles.
‘‘I don’t wantus to cry wolf,’’
said Dr. Nora Volkow, the agen-
cy’s director. ‘‘We have to do
thesestudiesin a way that can
identify risks.’’
With nearly $200,000 from
her agency, University of Wash-
ington scientists in Seattle are
seeking clearer answersin a
new study investigating poten-
tial effects on infants’ brains.

The agency is supporting three
similar studies in other states.
In Seattle, they’re enrolling
pregnant women during their
firsttrimesterwhoarealready
using marijuana for morning
sickness. Researchers don’t pro-
vide the pot, and the use of oth-
er drugs,tobacco, and alcohol
isn’t allowed.Infants will un-
dergo brain scansat 6 months
and will be comparedwithba-
bies whose mothersdidn’t use
marijuanawhile pregnant.
For governmentand univer-
sity authorities, it’s research
that takes advantage of a boom-
ing trend.Data showthe num-
ber of pregnantUS pot users
has doubled since2002,with 7
percentreporting recentuse
and higher rates in somestates.
But someopponentsof rec-
reationalmarijuana who think
the science is settled have com-
plained, calling it bogus re-
searchthat endorses drug use
and endangers fetuses. The crit-
icismunderscoresthe challeng-
es of investigating how drugs of
any kindaffect pregnantwom-
en and their offspring.
‘‘There are so many reasons
NOTto study drugs— particu-
larlyfear of causingbirth de-
fects. But the results would be
no studies of the drugs’ efficacy
during pregnancy, or the risks
to the fetus,’’ said Dr. John Lan-
tos, director of pediatric bioeth-
ics at Children’s Mercy hospital
in Kansas City, Mo. ‘‘It’s risky to
do studies of potentially risky
drugs,but it’s risky not to do
studies.’’

Is marijuana harmful

to use when pregnant?

Studyseeksdata,

draws criticism

DAVID ZALUBOWSKI/ASSOCIATEDPRESS
LeslieSiuposednearcannabisproducts gearedtoward
womenthat wereondisplay in herdispensary in Denver.

Comein.Explore.Imagine.


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