State Representative Jeffrey Perry today announced that he will run for the congressional seat currently held by US Representative William Delahunt, becoming one of the first Republicans to test whether Massachusetts is truly tilting to the right.
Perry, a four-term Republican from Sandwich, is trying to capitalize -- by hammering on a message of change -- on US Senator-elect Scott Brown’s surprise victory last month over Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley.
“The people of the 10th Congressional district need a fresh, dynamic and effective voice in Washington,” Perry said this morning in a statement. “They need someone who will stand up for the things they believe in.”
“People across the South Shore, Cape Cod and the Islands are tired and frustrated with what they see as a system in Washington that’s broken and that’s incapable of progress on issues that matter to them,” he added. “I want to be someone who changes that.”
Two weeks ago, Joseph D. Malone, a former two-term state treasurer and Republican gubernatorial candidate from Scituate, told the Globe that he is almost certainly going to run as well. Some have also suggested state Senator Robert Hedlund jump into the race, too, forming a “Draft Bob Hedlund for US Congress” page on Facebook. That would create a rare competitive Republican primary.
The deadline for candidates to submit voters’ signatures for a 2010 congressional run is May 4.
Delahunt ran unopposed in 2008, and won over 60 percent of the votes in the previous three elections. But in the special election for US Senate won by Brown, there was a sea of red in the 10th District, from Delahunt’s own city of Quincy down through Cape Cod. The only exceptions were Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and the area around Provincetown.
As an incumbent, Delahunt has several advantages, including fund-raising. He has raised $136,330 so far this cycle, but had $629,323 left over from previous election cycles.
Perry is planning to hold a fund-raising event on March 5 at the Cape Codder Resort in Hyannis.
Perry, an attorney and former Wareham police officer, is one of the more conservative members in the state Legislature. He was one of only two state representatives who voted against the landmark health care overhaul in 2006. He is also in favor of stronger enforcement of illegal immigration, and has proposed legislation that would deny illegal immigrants any state benefits.
Perry and his wife, Lisa, have one son and two granddaughters. He is an adjunct professor at Cape Cod Community College and has also taught constitutional law at Bridgewater State College.
Matt Viser can be reached at email@example.com.
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