Andover native Daniel Arrigg Koh, former chief of staff to Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, this morning became the first to formally set up a committee to seek the House seat being vacated next year by Rep. Niki Tsongas.
Koh said he has set up a political committee with the Federal Election Commission as he explores a campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives for Massachusetts’ Third District.
“I’m exploring a run for Congress because I believe deeply in the power of the American Dream – and that dream is under attack,” Koh said in a statement. “The division in this country – and in politics – has never been worse, and it’s time for us to come together to celebrate an America true to our values. An America where everyone has a chance at economic security – not just those at the top. An America where women’s equality is celebrated every single day – without exception. An America where all immigrants – and all Americans – can live the American Dream, and give their children better lives than they had.”
This morning, Ellen Murphy Meehan, who was married to former congressman and now UMass President Martin Meehan, said she would not be running. Tsongas announced Aug. 9 she will not seek re-election when her term ends next year. Others said to be weighing a run are Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini, state Sens. Barbara L’Italien and Eileen Donoghue, and Steve Kerrigan, who ran for lieutenant governor.
Koh cited his differences with the Trump administration over immigration. He explained his great grandparents on his mother’s side were immigrants from the Middle East and grandparents on his father’s side came from Korea.
“If my great-grandparents tried to immigrate to the United States today from their home country of Syria (now Lebanon), they would have been stopped at the border. Instead, they came to Lawrence, over one hundred years ago – and although they didn’t have much, they worked hard, invested in their community, and gave a better life to my grandfather. He went on to serve in the US military and build a medical practice – Arrigg Eye & Ear Associates – that still serves patients in the Merrimack Valley today, with my mom, Dr. Claudia Arrigg, and her two brothers. My father’s parents immigrated from Korea and represent a similar American success story.
He said he had an “incredibly supportive childhood – one that helped me overcome the challenges of ADHD and inspired me to public service.”
As chief of staff to Walsh, he managed 18,000 employees and a $3 billion budget. Previously, Koh served as chief of staff at The Huffington Post where he helped raise more than $5 million for nonprofits focused on women’s issues, job creation and training, and other progressive causes. He holds a B.A. from Harvard College. Koh and his wife Amy met at Harvard Business School where they both earned their MBAs.