BOSTON (CBS) – Representative Barney Frank is getting ready to leave Congress after more than three decades in office. Right now there are six candidates, three Democrats and three Republicans, fighting it out to replace him.
Joe Kennedy III spent the final hours before Thursday’s primary greeting voters at the Newton Center MBTA stop.
The 31-year-old Kennedy, son of former Congressman Joe Kennedy, has raised substantially more money than any other candidate in the race. Polls indicate he is the clear favorite to win the Democratic primary in the 4th District.
But those primary voters can also choose Rachel Brown who entered politics as an organizer for Lyndon LaRouche or Herb Robinson an engineer from Newton.
All three are hoping to be the Democrat who replaces Barney Frank in congress.
On the Republican side, polls indicate Sean Bielat is the man to beat. He is a businessman and a former Marine. Bielat ran unsuccessfully against Frank in 2010.
“I can tell you what I stand for and it is focused on economic growth,” says Bielat. “It is focused on fiscal discipline and it is focused on the general question of the role of government.”
Also on the Republican side is David Steinhof a dentist from Fall River. And there is Elizabeth Childs from Brookline who served as the Commissioner for Mental Health under Governor Romney.
“I have more public and private sector experience than every other candidate in the race,” says Childs.
Primary elections are almost always held on Tuesdays but because of federal and religious holidays and other considerations, the Secretary of States’ office opted for this Thursday. That is something that has only been tried a few times before.
The new 4th District now stretches from Newton to the Rhode Island border. It includes more conservative voters from the Blackstone Valley and does not include Democratic strongholds like New Bedford and half of Fall River. That’s part of the reason Barney Frank said he was retiring.