U.S. Rep. John Tierney, D-Mass., fell to Democratic primary challenger Seth Moulton Tuesday night. The liberal congressman with a thick Boston accent was a longtime member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee and known for his aggressive style of politics.
The Associated Press called the race just after 9:30 p.m. with Moulton leading Tierney 51 percent to 40 percent, with 27 percent of precincts reporting.
Tierney, whose primary campaign had been mired in a money-laundering scandal connected to his wife’s family, had been expected to defeat Moulton, but to have a tougher time in the general election against Republican Richard Tisei, to whom Tierney nearly lost his seat two years ago.
Tierney is the top Democrat on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee. In addition to being a big proponent of Head Start and a backer of measures that would expand early-childhood education and direct more federal spending to students with disabilities, Tierney has been particularly active on higher education. Most recently, he teamed up with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., to introduce a bill that would allow student borrowers to refinance their debt at the current, lower interest rate that people with loans on cars and houses are able to get.
Moulton, an entrepreneur and Iraq war veteran, is new to the politcal scene. He largely backs the Obama administration’s K-12 education agenda, including the priorities in its signature competitive-grant, Race to the Top. And according to his campaign web site, he has some big ideas for overhauling the teaching profession, including more rigorous training and higher salaries.