Auchincloss creates new PAC to support state, local candidates in Mass.

SE Mass

SEEKONK, Mass. (WPRI) — Massachusetts Congressman Jake Auchincloss keeps expanding his fundraising weapons as he wraps up his first year on Capitol Hill.

The first-term Democrat filed paperwork on Monday with the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance creating a new organization, the Jake Auchincloss 495 Political Action Committee.

Its mission? “To support candidates for state and local office in Massachusetts.” No further details were provided.

Asked for more information, Auchincloss spokesperson Matt Corridoni told 12 News the new PAC “was formed to help local candidates in our district for the midterm because we can’t use his City Council or our federal account” to give them financial support. (Auchincloss already has a state campaign account from his days as a Newton City Council member.)

No fundraising events to benefit the new state-level PAC have been planned so far, Corridoni said. (He confirmed the “495” in the name refers to the state highway in the middle of the 4th Congressional District which Auchincloss represents.)

The PAC’s establishment comes less than a month after Auchincloss won a major redistricting battle on Beacon Hill that pitted him against both his congressional colleague Bill Keating and his predecessor, Joe Kennedy III.

Despite protests from some leaders in New Bedford and Fall River, state lawmakers decided to split the two South Coast cities on the new map. All of Fall River will now be in the 4th District, represented by Auchincloss, while New Bedford will continue to be represented by Keating. (Currently, the two congressmen both represent roughly half of Fall River.)

Auchincloss had pushed to unite Fall River in his district, a move that is expected to benefit him politically by adding more voters in the more moderate southern part of the 4th District. He narrowly won last year’s primary for the seat as the progressive vote was divided among rivals from Newton, Brookline and Wellesley.

The 33-year-old has already proven himself to be an able fundraiser as a federal officeholder. He had nearly $1.9 million in his congressional campaign account as of Sept. 30, according to his most recent filing with the Federal Election Commission.

In August, Auchincloss created a federal leadership PAC called MA 4 Dems PAC that he said will raise money to benefit other Democrats running for the U.S. House nationwide. Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Massachusetts to headline an inaugural fundraiser to benefit MA 4 Dems earlier this fall.

MA 4 Dems has not yet filed its first fundraising report.

Also on Thursday, Auchincloss’s campaign announced he has received the endorsement of Planned Parenthood Action Fund for his 2022 re-election bid — an important vote of confidence for him as speculation continues that he could face a progressive primary challenger next year.

Ted Nesi (tnesi@wpri.com) is a Target 12 investigative reporter and 12 News politics/business editor. He co-hosts Newsmakers and writes Nesi’s Notes on Saturdays. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram

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