BOSTON — Richard Tisei, the Republican challenging incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. John Tierney in the 6th Congressional District, picked up an important endorsement Tuesday from The Boston Globe.
The endorsement calls Tisei a “sensible” bipartisan lawmaker” and says Tierney, an eight-term incumbent, has been “weakened by a controversy that grew out of his brother-in-law’s illegal offshore gambling operation.”
An Expensive Race
The fiercely contested race has attracted $4.5 million from political action groups across the country, making it among the top 10 U.S. House races nationally and the most expensive in New England. Outside political groups supporting Tisei are outspending those supporting Tierney 8-1.
Kyle Kondik, of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, says polls show Tisei is in the lead.
“It seems like there’s kind of a perfect storm brewing in which Tisei might actually be able to win — in fact is favored to win at this point — although I wouldn’t count Tierney out,” Kondik said.
Tierney has been dogged by a scandal involving his wife, who was convicted of filing false tax returns on behalf of her brother who was running an illegal offshore gambling operation.
Tisei Continues To Outraise Tisei
According to the latest filings with the Federal Election Commission, Tisei, an openly gay former state senator, has outraised Tierney in four straight fundraising quarters.
Of the $4.5 million spent on the race by outside groups, nearly $4 million has gone towards advertisements and mailings to defeat Tierney. Outside groups have only spent about $500,000 to support Tierney.
The congressman’s support has come mostly from teacher’s groups and the National Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. But while the national Democrats have spent about $200,000 to help keep Tierney in office, the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee has poured $1.5 million into the race to defeat him.
“I can’t imagine that Democrats feel all that confident about Tierney at this point,” Kodnik said. “So one wonders if they are directing their money to other races that they believe are more winnable.”
The Globe’s endorsement of Tisei represents the second time the paper has backed a Republican over incumbent Tierney. In 1998 it endorsed former Rep. Peter Torkildsen over Tierney, who had been in office two years.