Gloucester and Cape Ann voters looking for an ideal candidate to represent them as 6th District congressman for the next two years sure won’t find one on either side of the ballot next Tuesday.
Indeed, the battle between eight-term Democratic incumbent John Tierney and Republican challenger Richard Tisei, a former state Senate Minority Leader and lieutenant governor’s candidate has not only been one of the nation’s meanest, the candidates themselves continue to bring questions and baggage to the table.
Much of the race has not focused at all on the many issues at hand, but on the now two-year-old criminal case involving Tierney’s wife, Patrice, and her offshore gaming brothers. Both sides have raised past tax payment issues with one another, and Tierney’s campaign continues to paint Tisei as something he’s not, continually tying him to the right-wing Tea Party — a tough picture to paint when portraying a gay Republican who has renounced his party’s national stand against gay marriage and who stands as pro-choice on women’s reproductive rights.
None of the absolute garbage that’s shown up in our mailboxes —neither blistering anti-Tierney ads funded through a Super PAC launched by his predecessor, Peter Torkildsen, nor union- and Super PAC-backed claims against Tisei on Tierney’s behalf — legitimately helps voters make a decision when they go to the polls. But decide voters must. And it’s become clear in recent days that, when it comes to voters in Gloucester and across Cape Ann, that decision should be to re-elect John Tierney.
Tisei – who was just shifted last year into Tierney’s territory through the state’s Census-mandated redistricting changes — was presented with a glowing chance to make his case for this U.S. House seat. But largely campaigning on the theme that he’s not John Tierney doesn’t quite cut it as justifying the ouster of an eight-term incumbent who has represented Cape Ann fairly throughout his 16 years.