Sen. Pacheco backs Alan Khazei in crowded 4th District primary

SE Mass

TAUNTON, Mass. (WPRI) — State Sen. Marc Pacheco, the longest-serving member of the Massachusetts Senate and one of Beacon Hill’s leading voices on climate change, announced Sunday he is endorsing Alan Khazei in the crowded primary to replace Congressman Joe Kennedy III.

Pacheco, D-Taunton, said he has known Khazei for over 30 years and praised the Brookline resident’s role as founder of the service organization City Year. He singled out the candidate’s proposals for emergency wage support and an Emergency Service to Nation Jobs program as effective responses to the coronavirus crisis that would help the 4th Congressional District.

“Alan Khazei is exactly the experienced leader we need to represent the 4th District and get results for our people,” Pacheco said in a statement.

Khazei is one of 11 Democrats — all hailing from the northernmost tip of the 4th District — vying to win the Sept. 1 primary. Pacheco is now his most prominent supporter in the southern part of the district, which stretches from Brookline and Newton through the Attleboros and Taunton down into Northern Fall River.

“I started City Year in 1988 in Boston, the same year Senator Pacheco was first elected,” Khazei said in a statement. “I have worked with him my entire professional career and know firsthand what a compassionate and effective leader he is.”

Khazei’s campaign had raised a total of $1.07 million as of March 31, according to Federal Election Commission filings, placing him a close second financially behind Newton City Councilor Jake Auchincloss among the hopefuls.

Auchincloss and another Newton city councilor in the race, Becky Grossman, have both touted multiple endorsements in Fall River this month. While most of the region’s state senators still haven’t picked sides — two of them, Foxboro’s Paul Feeney and Needham’s Becca Rausch, were seen as potentially formidable candidates themselves — Grossman does already have the support of Westport Democrat Michael Rodrigues, chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

The other eight Democratic candidates are former Brookline Select Board member Jesse Mermell, former Assistant Attorney General Dave Cavell, former Federal Reserve official Ihssane Leckey, Newton resident Herb Robinson, Brookline lawyer Ben Sigel, Wellesley tech entrepreneur Chris Zannetos, Somerville resident Nick Matthew and Dr. Natalia Linos of Brookline.

On the Republican side, former Attleboro City Councilor Julie Hall has filed federal paperwork to seek her party’s nomination in the 4th District.

Ted Nesi ( 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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