DCCC names Moulton as a top candidate
© Courtesy of Seth Moulton

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has named Rep. John Tierney’s (D-Mass.) successful primary challenger, Seth Moulton, to its list of top-tier candidates. 

The committee will announce on Thursday that Moulton is the newest addition to its “Red to Blue Program,” which offers top candidates in tough races financial, communications, grassroots and strategic support. The designation will also give Moulton access to a broader donor base as he works to build a war chest for his fight with Republican Richard Tisei.

“Seth Moulton is a problem-solver who has a proven record of service and dedication to his community,” said DCCC Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) in a statement, shared first with The Hill. 

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“Seth’s commitment to middle class families in Massachusetts and the strong campaign he has put together have earned him a spot on the DCCC’s competitive Red to Blue program. Seth bravely served his country in the Marine Corps and he will bring that same unwavering commitment to Congress. I am confident that in November voters will elect Seth Moulton to this district which has been represented by a Democrat for nearly two decades and will reject Richard Tisei’s plan to stack the deck for special interests at the expense of the middle class.” 

Moulton met with members of House leadership on Wednesday including Israel, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra (Calif.), according to a Democratic aide.

The designation is both a show of Democratic unity behind and confidence in Moulton, after a primary fight during which the DCCC backed the incumbent, per protocol for the organization.

But the DCCC never actively supported Tierney with advertising or operational help during his primary — a hint, some speculated, that it would’ve been happy with either candidate in the general. Indeed, some Massachusetts Democrats privately breathed a sigh of relief when Moulton defeated Tierney, as he’s seen by many as a stronger candidate against Tisei, an openly gay Republican, because he lacks the baggage of Tierney’s family gambling scandal and long tenure in Congress.

Two surveys out this week showed Moulton leading Tisei, including one from the DCCC that showed him up by 8 points. While Democrats celebrated the news, the single-digit margin gave Republicans hope that they can overcome Moulton if they’re able to define him in voters’ minds before he can define himself.