4th District Dem Becky Grossman targets drug prices in new TV ad

SE Mass

SEEKONK, Mass. (WPRI) — Democrat Becky Grossman, a leading candidate in the crowded race to succeed Congressman Joe Kennedy III, is going on the air with a new TV ad that assails the high cost of prescription drugs.

It’s the second spot from Grossman, a Newton city councilor whose family has been prominent in Massachusetts politics for years, after an initial ad focused on gun control. She is one of nine Democrats seeking to represent the 4th Congressional District, which stretches from northern Fall River through the Attleboros and Taunton up into the Boston suburbs.

Titled “My Mother,” the ad features Grossman discussing the medical challenges faced by her mom, Sharon, who has a rare autoimmune disease. “My mom was healthy and active. And then one day, she wasn’t. Now she needs expensive drugs to stay alive,” Grossman says. “For many, these costs are devastating.”

Grossman goes on to suggest that Congress should cap out-of-pocket costs and require pharmaceutical companies to negotiate lower prices, while emphasizing that she is not accepting donations from drug and pharmaceutical corporate PACs.

Alex Vuskovic, Grossman’s campaign manager, said the spot will begin airing on Tuesday in the Providence/New Bedford TV market. Grossman has pumped $350,000 of her own money into her campaign so far.

With no public polling in the race, political observers have struggled to handicap the primary, though all sides acknowledge a large number of voters have yet to make up their minds. Grossman is generally seen as one of the hopefuls with a better chance of winning, as is another Newton city councilor, Jake Auchincloss.

The airwaves are growing increasingly crowded with campaign commercials in the lead-up to the Sept. 1 primary, with Grossman, Auchincloss, Democratic Socialist Ihssane Leckey, City Year co-founder Alan Khazei and tech entrepreneur Chris Zannetos all on the air at this point. (Leckey rolled out her own second TV spot on Monday.)

Another hopeful from the party’s progressive wing, former Brookline Select Board member Jesse Mermell, has racked up a significant number of endorsements but is not yet advertising on TV. Her spokesperson, Karissa Hand, said Mermell’s campaign “is peaking at just the right time.”

Three other Democrats — Dr. Natalia Linos, former Assistant Attorney General Dave Cavell and lawyer Ben Sigel — are also actively campaigning for the 4th District nomination.

The victor will face the winner of the Republican primary between Julie Hall and David Rosa in the November election.

Ted Nesi (tnesi@wpri.com) is WPRI 12’s politics and business editor and a Target 12 investigative reporter. He is a weekly panelist on Newsmakers and hosts Executive Suite. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook

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