In today’s Globe – veteran writer Frank Phillips and colleague Noah Bierman cover the fall-out from yesterday’s announcement of the new Congressional District Map for Massachusetts. Phillips had written over the weekend about the House plan to carve Lawrence out of the 5th District into the 6th – which many saw as harmful to the district, to Lawrence and to Congresswoman Tsongas. Others prevailed – and Lawrence and Haverhill remain in the 5th soon to be the new 3rd Congressional District. (See the map).
However, in saving Lawrence – the communities of Tewskbury and Billerica were moved east into Congressman Tierney’s 6th District. It happened before – in the 1980s. They were relocated onto the 7th – Ed Markey’s district to languish on its edges. I think they will get a better shake with Tierney. However, the Republicans see these communities as red meat for a possible GOP recapture of the 6th. With a history of going Republican and having selectmen and reps in that party, people like former State Senate minority leader Richard Tisei see a great opportunity with Tewksbury and Billerica. And he is in the race! From the Globe article:
Former Senate minority leader Richard R. Tisei, a socially liberal Republican, said yesterday he plans to challenge the eight-term congressman.
Tisei said the addition of Billerica and Tewksbury, towns that have voted Republican in recent years, could help the party defeat Tierney. “Those are very fertile territories,’’ he said.
Read the full Globe article here at boston.com.
On an historical note: The 6th District was represented by Republican Congressman Peter G. Torkildsen from 1993 to 1997 when he was defeated by John Tierney. On a side-note making a Lowell connection – when a past redistricting took place in 1873 – the Republican party nominated Ben Butler of the 5th CD and he represented the 6th for one term (See a full list of 6th CD Representatives here.)
So the politics have yet to play out… stay tuned.