Many voters within both parties may well have had one thought last week, when Boxford attorney Bill Hudak announced plans to mount a second consecutive challenge to 6th District — and Cape Ann - Congressman John Tierney:
It's going to be a loooooonnnng 2012 campaign season.
Yet Hudak's early entry, and his reasons for it, also reminds us how fluid our state's congressional landscape is these days.
Noting that the state is losing a congressional seat in the wake of the latest U.S. Census figures, Hudak told the Times that, "however (redistricting) shakes out, our losing a seat means the district will be larger." That, he said, will mean new areas, new people, "and reaching out to those new people will take time," he said.
Indeed, the race to represent that larger and reconfigured district may be a lot more crowded that an in recent memory. There are already rumblings that Hudak will face a strong challenge on the Republican side, perhaps from former state Sen. and 2010 lieutenant governor candidate Richard Tisei of Wakefield. Plus, who's to say Tierney won't be facing off with either 5th District Congresswoman Niki Tsongas of Lowell, or 7th District incumbent Ed Markey of Malden, either of whose districts could be merged into parts of the current 6th.
While Hudak's early race entry assures us all that, yes, it will be a long campaign, it also reminds us that it's not too early for voters to start paying attention.