A little more than a year ago, former state Sen. Richard Tisei was aiming to become the next lieutenant governor; now the Republican has his sails set toward Congress.
Tisei announced his candidacy for the Massachusetts 6th Congressional District on Tuesday in his hometown of Wakefield, saying he wants to offer voters a clear alternative to incumbent Congressman John Tierney, the Salem Democrat who has represented Gloucester, Cape Ann and the rest of the district for the past 14 years.
"We know the country is headed in the wrong direction, and unless we work quickly, we're headed for an economic disaster," Tisei told about 50 supporters gathered in front of Wakefield's Americal Civic Center. "These problems did not originate here on Main Street. They started in Washington; our government is too big, disconnected, and every day becomes more dysfunctional."
The 6th Congressional District, which includes most of Essex County and parts of Middlesex County, recently gained Billerica, Tewksbury and part of Andover in a just-completed redistricting move.
Tisei was unambiguous yesterday in making a clear distinction between himself, Tierney and Democrats in general. He called President Obama's policies contrary "to the core principles that make our country so great" and said the president "has caused our standard of living to drop harder and faster than any other point in time."
Tierney, Tisei said, believes in higher taxes, more oversight, stimulus spending and bailouts, adding that he believes those measures don't work and only serve to stifle business and the economy.
Tierney is "the most ideologically left-wing member of Congress, which as you know, that's tough to do," Tisei said. "It you're happy with the way things are going, then elect John Tierney. If not, let's begin the process of putting this country in a different direction."