Democrats Seeking to Succeed Tsongas Send Appeals to Left-Leaning Voters

The race to succeed Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, who retires at the end of the year, is revving up as a number of Democratic candidates work to increase their name recognition among liberals.

Haverhill’s Alexandra Chandler this week released a 13-point campaign platform outlining, what she says are, her “progressive ideas and solutions to the district’s challenges.” Meanwhile, Andover state Sen. Barbara L’Italien said she was endorsed by the MBTA’s management union and Dan Koh of Andover touted support from IBEW Local 96.

Chandler, a former naval intelligence analyst, said her platform includes healthcare, combating climate change, bringing better jobs to the district, equality and a voluntary national service program.

“Voters deserve to know that their candidates understand the issues,” Chandler said in a statement. “Candidates need to be willing to take a stand and share their policy solutions to the challenges voters face—not just fluff or political boilerplate.”

The Office and Professional Employees International Union, Local 453, representing MBTA managers, said it picked L’Italien over the 11 other candidates in the race “because of her experience dealing with such important issues as health and education, climate resiliency, civil rights and quality union jobs.”

L’Italien responded in a statement by saying, “Our MBTA management union knows that progressive values are what’s best for working families. I look forward as congresswoman to continue fighting together for our shared concerns, including livable wages, affordable housing, and strong public education and transportation.”

Electrical workers, local 96, supports Koh because “he has a forward-looking agenda, focused on creating jobs and raising wages,” according to Business Manager Thomas Maloney. Koh endorsed the union too. “Local 96 has taken the lead establishing successful apprenticeship and continuing education programs. In order to bridge the skills gap, we should collaborate with unions, businesses, and educational institutions,” he said.

Besides Chandler, L’Italien and Koh, other Democratic candidates are Abhijit “Beej” Das of Lowell, Rufus Gifford of Concord, Steve Kerrigan of Lancaster, Patrick Littlefield of Boxboro, Bopha T. Malone of Bedford, Rep. Juana Matias of Lawrence, Terence Ryan of Westford, Keith St. John of Marlboro and Lori Trahan of Westford. Rick Green of Pepperell is the only Republican candidate.

Nadeem A. Mazen, a former Cambridge city councilor and Andover native, dropped out of the race Sunday.