Dave Cavell, one of the nine Democrats running in the Fourth Congressional District, announced Thursday that he was suspending his campaign and endorsing Jesse Mermell in an attempt to make it harder for another candidate — Jake Auchincloss — to take advantage of a crowded field that will splinter the primary vote.
Cavell, who left his job as a senior advisor for Attorney General Maura Healey in order to run for Congress, said it would have been an "honor of a lifetime" to represent the district in Congress, but felt he has to "put principles and people above politics."
"There are many strong candidates to represent the people of the Fourth District. Unfortunately, there is one candidate in this race who I believe has proven himself unfit to represent this District," Cavell said.
Cavell never mentioned Auchincloss by name, but the Newton city councilor has come under fire in recent weeks from a number of his Democrats rivals for past statements he's made about the Confederate flag and burning the Quran. Though there has been a dearth of independent polling in the race, Auchincloss is considered one of the top contenders for the seat having been among the most prolific fundraisers. He also has the backing of super PAC funded, in part, by his family.
The Boston Globe endorsed Auchincloss, a former Marine, on July 31.
"In a crowded field without ranked-choice voting, I refuse to make it more likely that the people of our District, particularly Black and brown people, will be represented by someone we cannot trust. This is a moment when all of us must put the best interests of the country and the critical work of progessive [sic], intersectional change before personal politics," Cavell said in a statement.
"Therefore, I will be working with and voting for my friend Jesse Mermell, a passionate fighter for progressive values and working people of every race and background," he said.
Mermell is a former senior leader with Planned Parenthood in Massachusetts and top advisor to Gov. Deval Patrick who left her position as president of the Alliance for Business Leadership to run for Congress when U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III decided to run for Senate.
Cavell's name will remain on the ballot in the Fourth District, which stretches from the western suburbs of Boston to the South Coast.