With Election Day only days away, Newton City Councilor Jake Auchincloss said he feels confident as his first national campaign for the Massachusetts 4th District congressional seat comes to a close on Tuesday.
“I think voters from the Massachusetts 4th will elect a Democrat to represent them in Congress who believes in putting science in the driver’s seat as we respond to COVID and climate change, and who represents their values and priorities about rebuilding a more inclusive economy, fighting racial injustice, and investing in infrastructure and good jobs,” Auchincloss said.
Auchincloss won a difficult Democratic primary, coming in the top three in all cities and towns in the district, and now faces Republican nominee Julie Hall for the seat currently held by Representative Joe Kennedy.
“We knew that this was gonna be a tough campaign,” Auchincloss said. “[The] primary field was a group of very impressive candidates. And that was a lively contest. And so I was, I was proud that I was able to build a full district coalition.”
With the coronavirus pandemic picking up speed amid the Democratic primary, Auchincloss said his campaign was able to find new ways to reach voters during the uncertainty. One way the campaign was able to stay connected to voters was by hosting webinars with experts on the subject, such as local health professionals and economists.
“In times of great uncertainty and stress, one of the most important things elected officials can do is communicate high-quality information that people can trust,” Auchincloss said.
Although many aspects of the campaign had to change in response to COVID-19, Auchincloss emphasized the many aspects that didn’t change.
“Fundamentally, it’s still about trying to have as authentic of a conversation as possible with voters when you’re talking about solutions instead of pointing fingers about problems,” he said.
From the onset of his campaign, Auchincloss has been an avid supporter of increased access to health care, and he said that the pandemic underscores the urgency of health care for all.
“We have an administration that wants to undercut the [Affordable Care Act] and deny people coverage for preexisting conditions at a time when COVID will be considered a preexisting condition by insurance companies,” said Auchincloss.
If elected to Congress, Auchincloss said his first priority will be increasing access to COVID-19 testing.
“There’s no reason why schools shouldn’t have access to the same high-quality testing as NBA players do,” Auchincloss said.
Auchincloss said he is confident his time as a Newton City Councilor has prepared him to serve as a results-oriented member of Congress who will bring people together and get things done.
“Local government is the most effective level of government in this country because it’s solution oriented,” Auchincloss said. “You can only debate for so long about how you’re going to build a road or take out the trash or build or construct the wall. Local residents and voters want results. And if you’re not getting results and you’re not working well with others, they’ll tell you about it in the grocery store. We need that amount of accountability and transparency at the national level.”
A self proclaimed Obama-Baker Democrat, Auchincloss has been a staunch supporter of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and said he would be a partner for the Governor in Washington, D.C. on COVID-19 relief and recovery, if elected.
“I think it’s important that federal and state elected officials work well together to get through this crisis,” he said. “But I’m also a pragmatic progressive. I am somebody who is committed to tackling climate change, addressing racial injustice, and protecting women’s reproductive rights. And so there should be no mistake among progressive Democrats about where my values and priorities lie. They’re going to find that they need somebody to amplify their voice.”
Auchincloss has received endorsements from all but three of the 24 members of the Newton City Council, with Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller putting her support behind Auchincloss as well, according to a statement issued by Newton officials on Oct. 16. The three councilors who did not sign the letter were councilors Julia Malakie, Bill Humphrey, and Brenda Noel. Auchincloss has also received an endorsement from The Boston Globe, former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis, and Representative Joe Kennedy.
Heading into Election Day, Auchincloss hopes voters take away a sense of unity from his campaign.
“It was about unity and constructive forward-looking politics as opposed to divisive backwards looking politics,” Auchincloss said.
Featured Image Courtesy of Jake Auchincloss for Congress