Haverhill’s Rurak, Wood Support Matias at City Gathering Ahead of Congressional Primary

Former state Rep. Juana Matias spoke at a Haverhill Democratic City Committee candidate dinner on May 7, 2018. (Jay Saulnier photograph for WHAV News.)

Rep. Juana Matias speaks at a Haverhill Democratic City Committee candidate dinner on May 7, 2018. (Jay Saulnier photograph for WHAV News.)

Former Haverhill Mayor James Rurak and School Committeeman Scott W. Wood Jr., were among nearly 100 supporters who gathered to support state Rep. Juana Matias at a hometown meet and greet ahead of the September 4 congressional primary election.

The gathering in downtown Haverhill was the latest in the state representative’s efforts to woo voters in her bid to succeed retiring Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. If elected to represent the 3rd District, Matias would be New England’s first Latina member of Congress.

As WHAV previously reported, Rurak formally endorsed Matias last month, calling the city native a “true public servant.”

“Juana is the Haverhill candidate in this race. She grew up here and she will be the champion Haverhill needs in Congress,” said Rurak, who served the city from 1994-2002. “She is a true public servant and will put the needs of Haverhill and this district first. She's for better education, jobs, and healthcare for all of us, especially seniors, veterans and middle class families who usually get forgotten in Washington.”

Wood also praised his hometown colleague, arguing that her Merrimack Valley roots will help her stand out in a crowded democratic field.

“I know she will be a champion for working class families because she comes from one, and has dedicated her career to serving the city of Haverhill, and the other communities across the Merrimack Valley,” Wood said in June.

Matias is one of 10 democrats vying for a spot on the congressional ballot. The winner of September’s primary will face lone republican candidate Rick Green for the congressional seat.