Bielat Stops in Milford, Says MA is Over the Kennedy 'Mystique'
Sean Bielat, a Republican candidate for the Fourth Congressional District, said he doesn't buy conventional wisdom that a Kennedy is impossible to beat in Massachusetts. Joseph Kennedy III, a Democrat, is conducting a campaign for the seat.
Sean Bielat is a Republican candidate for the Fourth Congressional District, which now includes Hopkinton. A probable opponent, should he come out ahead in the GOP primary, is Joseph Kennedy III, a member of the Kennedy family, often referred to as a political dynasty.
Bielat isn't impressed with that lineage, and he thinks most Massachusetts voters are over it, too. "The people in Massachusetts are over that mystique," he said Monday, speaking to a small group of supporters at a town hall forum in Milford.
The former Marine said he rejects conventional political wisdom that a Kennedy can't be beaten in Massachusetts. "My gut feeling comes from talking to people around the district," he said.
Hopkinton is now a part of the sprawling Fourth Congressional District, which stretches from Newton to Fall River, under redistricting approved late last year. This is the seat now held by U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Newton), who has announced his retirement. The new district lines were a part of what factored into his decision, he has said.
Bielat, a Harvard University graduate with a business degree, ran unsuccessfully against Frank in his last re-election. This time, Bielat said, his poll numbers indicate he's ahead of where he stood against Frank.
In fundraising, he is trailing Kennedy, but has raised more than his Republican opponents. The primary election is Thursday, Sept. 6.
Kennedy, who is the son of former U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II, and the grandson of the late NY Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, raised $1.3 million in contributions in the three months that ended June 30, leaving him with a campaign account of nearly $2 million.
Bielat reported contributions of $218,000, according to a press release, leaving him with a campaign account of $165,000.
Elizabeth Childs, a physician and a fellow Republican candidate, raised $41,000 during the same period, according to an Associate Press report.
Fellow Republican David Steinhof, a New Bedford dentist, is also conducting a campaign for the Fourth Congressional District.
On the Democrat side, Kennedy will run in the primary against opponents including Herb Robinson, a Newton resident, and Rachel Brown.
In Milford, nine people attended the Bielat forum, held at St. Mary of the Assumption Church. It is Bielat's third trip to Milford in recent weeks. He said he is relying on candidate-to-voter forums in his campaign, rather than television, and encouraged the supporters to put his campaign materials on their cars and put up lawn signs. The closest campaign office to Milford is in Foxboro.
His likely opponent, Bielat said, referring to Kennedy, has made a point that he will continue his family's legacy if elected to Congress. "I would argue that what we don't need is more of the same."