FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) – Former Massachusetts Democratic Party Chair Joan Menard, a longtime fixture in Fall River and statewide politics, is endorsing Newton City Councilor Becky Grossman for the U.S. House seat currently held by Joe Kennedy III.
Menard represented the South Coast on Beacon Hill as a state representative and then state senator for over three decades until her retirement a decade ago.
“I know that Becky will be a fighter for South Coast families,” Menard, 84, said in a statement distributed by the Grossman campaign. “She is the representative the 4th District needs in this pivotal moment for the commonwealth and the county.”
“It’s an honor to earn Joan’s support in this race,” Grossman said. “Few public servants in Massachusetts have her depth of experience and leadership on the most critical issues facing communities in the South Coast and across the commonwealth. Our grassroots campaign will only be stronger with Joan on our side.”
Grossman is one of nine Democrats who have filed to run for the 4th Congressional District seat, which stretches from the wealthy Boston suburbs down through the Attleboros and Taunton into the northern part of Fall River. She had raised just over $400,000 as of Dec. 31, third-most among the candidates. No polling has been conducted in the race.
Menard — whose term as state chair overlapped with the time Grossman’s father-in-law, Steve Grossman, spent as Democratic National Committee chair — is the second Fall River Democrat with a high profile on Beacon Hill who is backing Grossman, along with state Sen. Michael Rodrigues.
Kennedy, who has held the seat since 2012, is moving on to challenge incumbent U.S. Sen. Ed Markey. The primary is Sept. 1.
Ted Nesi (email@example.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