SALEM — Seth Moulton, the Marblehead native who considered running for Congress a year ago, has announced plans to challenge Congressman John Tierney in the Democratic primary next year.
Moulton, a former Marine who holds three degrees from Harvard, will kick off his campaign by visiting each of the 39 communities in the 6th District, including those on Cape Ann, over the next 10 days.
Tierney, now serving his ninth term in Congress, plans to run for re-election. No Republicans have entered the race to date.
Moulton tested the waters to run as an independent last summer, but decided against it and did not return the paperwork required to be on the ballot.
Tierney, considered vulnerable after an offshore gambling scandal that involved his wife and in-laws, beat back a strong challenge from Republican Richard Tisei in November, winning re-election by less than 1 percentage point.
Moulton, 34, says he’s running for Congress — his first run for public office — simply because he’s frustrated. Congress “has not been doing its job effectively,” he said, and it’s time for change.
“I’m a pragmatic Democrat. I’m a person that wants to go to Washington and get things done,” Moulton said. “... I’m (also) a frustrated Democrat. I think we haven’t shown a lot of new thinking about old issues. Congress has been kicking the can down the road too much.”
Moulton has begun to line up campaign staff and volunteers, a website and social media outreach, and said he will file campaign paperwork this week. He has yet to establish a campaign headquarters, but said he will probably set up in Salem, where he moved recently.
Tierney has continued to raise campaign money since he was re-elected last fall. Federal campaign finance records show he finished the first quarter of 2013 with $225,889 cash on hand.