Support for Angus McQuilken
To the Editor,
On Tuesday, September 1, registered Democrats, unenrolled and independent voters will be able to vote in the Massachusetts Primary Election to determine who will run against the Republican candidate for US Congress. Incumbent Seth Moulton is running for a 4th term, and Angus McQuilken and Jamie Belsito are running against him.
I’m supporting Angus McQuilken and here’s why. Yes, I loved Congressman Moulton’s being a veteran and his stumping for candidates in swing districts across the US with Serve America–his political action committee, which helped elect 22 veterans to Congress and helped reclaim a House of Representatives majority. But it took him out of the district when we needed him, and apparently, also gave him ideas of higher office. When he tried to block Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi from reclaiming the speakership of the House in early 2019, I thought this was part of a plan to appeal to moderates across the country. But Pelosi has been a bulwark against Trump, and Moulton eventually voted for her as Speaker when it was clear it was inevitable. Only a few months later, he began his run for the presidency (or vice president?) in a crowded field, never getting above 1% in the polls or qualifying for the Democratic Debates, and dropping out in August. Since then, I didn’t appreciate Seth being the only Democratic co-sponsor of a House resolution placing sole responsibility for COVID-19 on China, whose effect was to provide fuel to the uptick in hate crimes and attacks against Asian-Americans.
We need a Congressman who shows up in the community and listens to us, his constituents, and who is not looking for his next big job. So, I’ve considered the alternatives.
Jamie Belsito is a mental health activist who has worked on women’s’ issues and claims she is a long-time progressive. However, she campaigned for Republican Richard Tisai in 2012 against Democratic Cong. John Tierney and did not enroll as a Democrat until 2016! What’s worse is how she handled an incident at a Democratic Town Committees’ Congressional Debate on August 2. Debate organizers placed the three candidates in alphabetical order on the dais and six feet from each other. Belsito arrived, said she was not comfortable with the spacing and wanted to be further distanced. With minutes before going live on TV and YouTube, a card table was set up for her next to the conference table; at the time, she did not express any dissatisfaction with this solution. Later, social media posts and a local editorial accused the organizers of gender bias due to the optics of her not being at the conference table. The organizers asked the Belsito campaign to clarify the spacing was at her request. Belsito was not willing to set the record straight; in fact, she has deceptively used this to advance her campaign as the only female candidate in the race. So, she’s out as far as I’m concerned.
Angus McQuilken has been a life-long progressive who has actually already done good things for our state. Early on, he co-founded the Young Democrats of Massachusetts, was a MASSPIRG board member, and was involved in the environmental movement. Angus worked for Planned Parenthood and as chair of the Massachusetts Coalition for Choice, he helped enact a state law mandating hospitals provide rape victims emergency contraception. He worked as the top staffer for former state senator Cheryl Jacques where he helped secure and protect marriage equality in Massachusetts in 2004. He co-founded the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence which helped enact legislation that in 2014 gave local police chiefs in Massachusetts discretion over gun licensing in their communities and had a hand in the common sense 1998 law that banned assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines and required licensed individuals to safely store their firearms. He’s worked on healthcare access and affordability, economic development and job creation, the climate crisis, and transportation. He’s a lecturer at Lasell University, a business development executive at a law firm, and was an executive at the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, which supports the innovation economy.
Angus McQuilken doesn’t alienate people, even people who might disagree with him initially. He listens to them and works with them to find solutions. He’s a coalition builder who has worked on multiple issues that touch all of us at one time or another. He lives in Topsfield with his wife, Diann, and their 4 children, ages 9-17. I believe he’ll be a terrific congressman who will be responsive to us. Please vote for Angus McQuilken on September 1 and then on November 3. Thank you,