The race is on for the Massachusetts’ 10th U.S. House District seat once held by John Quincy Adams. The seat has been left vacant by Rep. Bill Delahunt. Delahunt’s departure opened the way for a hot race between Democrat William Keating and Republican Jeffrey Perry.
Delahunt represented the 10th District since 1997 and announced his departure in March. His departure leaves an open battlefield in the mostly liberal district (Cook PVI of D+5). The Republicans will try to gain the seat, similar to the way Republican Sen. Scott Brown snagged the seat long-held by Democrat Ted Kennedy.
Candidates for Massachusetts’ 10th Congressional District (two-year term)
(Encompasses Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket Counties. From Plymouth County: Abington, Carver, Duxbury, Hanover, Hanson Pct. 2, Hingham, Hull, Kingston, Marshfield, Norwell, Pembroke, Plymouth, Plympton, Rockland and Scituate. Cohasset, Quincy and Weymouth,; from Norfolk County: Cohasset, Quincy and Weymouth. See a boundary map here.)
Candidate: William “Bill” Keating
Political experience: Keating was in the Massachusetts state senate from 1985 to 1988, representing Bristol, Norfolk and Plymouth. While in the state senate, he served as the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, chairman of the Committee on Taxation and Senate, vice chairman of the Committee on Criminal Justice, chairman of the Committee on Public Safety and the chairman of the Steering and Policy Committee. From 1977 to 1984, he served in the Massachusetts state house of representatives.
Professional experience: Keating is the current Norfolk District Attorney and has held the office since 1999. He was a partner in Keating & Fishman.
Key issues: Keating opposes raising the retirement age for Social Security and does not want to privatize Social Security. Keating’s voting record shows he voted to legalize gay marriage in Massachusetts; he supports “equality for gays and lesbians.” He considers himself pro-choice. Keating, named “Environmental Legislator of the Year,” supports Cape Wind, a hot-button issue for the district. He also supports gun control.
Endorsements: Groups in include the American Federation of Teachers, Massachusetts AFL-CIO, South Shore Building Trades and other labor groups, The Boston Herald, The Sierra Club and the Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts. Notable individual endorsements include state senators Michael Morrissey (Norfolk and Plymouth) and Tom Kennedy (Plymouth and Bristol), state representatives Steve Tobin (Quincy), Garrett Bradley (Plymouth), Bruce Ayers (Norfolk) and Jamie Murphy (Norfolk) and Weymouth Mayor Sue Kay.
Chances of winning the seat: The chances of the seat remaining Democratic are good when considering there are twice as many registered Democrats in the Massachusetts’ 10th U.S. House District than there are Republicans. A full 55 percent of voters are not registered in a party. In the 2008 presidential election, 55 percent of the district’s vote went to Obama, but RealClearPolitics.com considers this race a toss-up.
Keating has raised $655,500 according to OpenSecrets.org, has spent $291,980 and has $363,518 on hand (as of late August.) Of the money raised, 92 percent came from individual contributions with another 8 percent from PAC contributions.
Candidate: Jeffrey Perry
Political experience: Perry is a four-term state representative for the 5th Barnstable District. He is the ranking member of the Committees on Education and Public Safety & Homeland Security and serves on the Committee on State Administration as well as the House Ways and Means Committee, according to his website.
Professional experience: Perry is a partner in Flannigan and Perry P.C., a law firm as well as an adjunct professor at Cape Cod Community College in West Barnstable.
Key issues: Perry does not support the recent health care reform and seeks to repeal it. He also does not support the Cape Wind Project. Perry supports “taking a hard line against illegal immigration.”
Endorsements: Individual backing comes from U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, former Gov. Mitt Romney, Republican National Committeewoman Jody Dow, Republican National Committeeman Ron Kaufman and former Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey. Notable groups include Concerned Women Political Action Committee (CWPAC),
Gun Owners Action League of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Citizens for Life, National Right to Life and others.
Chances of winning the seat: The chances of a Republican candidate taking the seat in the most conservative district in the Democratic state of Massachusetts could be good if the same residents who voted for Republican Sen. Scott Brown head to the polls. Brown won the 10th Congressional District with 60 percent of the vote.
Perry has raised $512,118 according to OpenSecrets.org. He’s spent $383,735 and has $128,383 on hand (as of late August). Individual contributions make up 96 percent of his campaign financing, with three percent from PAC contributions and 1 percent from “other” sources.
Key Differences between Bill Keating and Jeffrey Perry:
Perry wants to raise the Social Security eligibility age and Keating wants to keep it the same. Perry considers himself pro-life and Keating is pro-choice. Perry personally believes that “marriage is between a man and a woman” but that each state should make their own decision. Keating is a strong proponent of gay marriage.
There are similarities, though. Both Keating and Perry want to “reform” government, according to their websites. Keating says he takes on “politics as usual,” is for term limits on leadership positions, wants to ban corporate earmarks and make government more “transparent.” Perry is also opposed to the “bailouts and giveaways, improper influences of special interests, backroom deals” and also believes in term limits.
Demographics: According to the U.S. Census, the residents of the 10th Congressional District of Massachusetts fall into these groups: 92.6 percent white, 2.8 percent black, 4 percent Asian, 1.7 percent Hispanic or Latino of all races and 0.8 percent American Indian.