Trahan Declared Victor Over Koh In 3rd Congressional District Race

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Lori Trahan (Courtesy of the campaign)
Lori Trahan (Courtesy of the campaign)

The certified results are in: Lori Trahan is the Democratic nominee in the race to succeed Rep. Niki Tsongas in Massachusetts' 3rd Congressional District.

The results of the recount in the election show Trahan beat her leading rival, Dan Koh, by 145 votes.

Trahan and Koh were the front-runners in a field of 10 candidates in the Sept. 4 primary. She won the district's largest city, Lowell, and in total, 12 of the 37 cities and towns in the district.

Koh conceded the election after the recount Monday, saying it was time to unite behind Trahan to ensure the seat stays Democratic. Trahan now faces Republican challenger Rick Green, as well as independent Mike Mullen.

At a forum in Lowell during the campaign, Trahan said Congress should end mandatory sentencing for people convicted of nonviolent drug offenses. She also said Congress should outlaw the use of criminal background checks on job applications.

"We've got California inmates in the correctional facility fighting wildfires and they might not be allowed to become a firefighter when they get out of prison," Trahan said. "That's just wrong, and we need to end that practice."

Trahan said she would support legislation sponsored by Sen. Elizabeth Warren to provide $100 million in funding to increase access to naloxone, also known as Narcan, a drug used to counteract opioid overdoses, and increase access to treatment and rehabilitation for people addicted to opioids.

In Lowell Monday, Trahan explained why she thought she pulled out ahead in the end.

"I think at the end of the day, it was clear that this district wanted somebody who had working-class values going down to Washington and fighting for them," Trahan said. "They wanted somebody who was born, raised, and stayed in this community, and understood the issues that affected them, and I do believe that people are craving a new breed of leader in Washington, someone who is going to fight not just for the values of the Democratic Party but then also try to find common ground and get more done in Washington."

Trahan grew up in Lowell. Her father was a union organizer. When he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, her mother raised Trahan and her three sisters while working part-time jobs. Trahan attended Lowell public schools.

She attended Georgetown University on a volleyball scholarship.

She went to work for Congressman Marty Meehan, who represented the district before Tsongas, right out of college, eventually becoming his chief of staff.

After 10 years on Capitol Hill, she became an executive at a Cambridge startup, then started a business consulting firm.

Trahan is nationalizing her race against Green, framing it as a race against President Trump.

"We have a well-financed Republican opponent who looks forward to being another voice, another vote for this president and his divisive policies," Trahan said.

Trahan is 44, and is married to homebuilder David Trahan. They live in Westford, one of the towns she won, with their two young girls.

This segment aired on September 18, 2018.


Fred Thys Reporter
Fred Thys reported on politics and higher education for WBUR.



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