Tsongas Not Seeking Re-Election Next Year; Candidate Speculation Begins

U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas, right, with state Sen. Barbara L’Italien last year at Maria’s Restaurant in downtown Haverhill. Sources close to L’Italien say the senator is considering entering the race. (WHAV News photograph).

State Rep. Brian S. Dempsey and Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. (WHAV News photograph.)

Congresswoman Niki Tsongas’ announcement this morning she will not seek re-election next year is bringing speculation as to who might seek the seat.

She was elected in 2007 following the then-surprise announcement Rep. Marty Meehan would resign to become chancellor of UMass Lowell. In a statement, Tsongas said she is proud of her 10 years of service at the Capitol, including her vote for the Affordable Care Act, but wants to spend more time with family.

“I have learned in life that there is a time for endings and for new beginnings. After much thought, I have decided that this is one of those times. The time feels right most especially because of my desire to spend more time enjoying and celebrating my wonderful and growing family,” Tsongas said.

Tsongas will remain in office until her term expires at the end of next year.

“I look forward to finishing out my term, and over the next year and a half, I will dedicate each day to improving the quality of the lives of my fellow residents and the lives of countless people like them across our Commonwealth and nation.”

Tsongas won re-election last year, defeating Haverhill Republican Ann Wofford. It was Wofford’s second run for the seat. Sen. Barbara L’Italien is said to be considering a run for the seat. Others rumored to have an interest in the post are Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini, a Democrat.

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