Election Series: Female Candidates for Congress in Massachusetts

In Blog, Community by Caroline Smith

In advance of our upcoming She Geeks Out panel featuring Ayanna Pressley, Brianna Wu, and Sam Hammar, we thought we’d shine a little light on some of the amazing women on the ballot for Massachusetts this primary election season. From the candidates running for Congress, to State Senate, State House, and even municipal and county positions, we hope this blog series will be a useful primer to help you make the right choices for yourself and your community in the upcoming primary– and to get the candidates you want on the ballot for the midterm election this November. For this week, we’re covering the exceptional women running for the Massachusetts seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The last day to register to vote in the Massachusetts primary election is August 15, and the election will be held on September 4th. You can register to vote online here, or if you don’t have a Massachusetts ID, you can download and mail in this voter registration form. If you will be outside of Massachusetts on September 4th, you can sign up to receive your absentee ballot here.

Tahirah Amatul-Wadud

1st Congressional District

Tahirah Amatul-Wadud is a Democratic candidate for the 1st Congressional District of Massachusetts. She currently runs a law practice in western Massachusetts, with a focus on domestic relations and civil rights law. In 2016, she was named a 2016 Top Woman of Law by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. Her vision as Congresswoman includes universal pre-school and stronger public education, Medicare for All, supporting renewable energy, reforming gun laws, ensuring women’s right to choose, and reforming our criminal justice system. She is a volunteer commissioner for the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women, and a member of the Family Advisory Council of Boston Children’s Hospital.

Tracy Lovvorn

2nd Congressional District

Tracy Lovvorn is a Republican candidate running for Congress in the 2nd Congressional District of Massachusetts. She is the only female Republican running for a Massachusetts congressional nomination this primary election season. As a more centrist Republican candidate, Lovvorn hopes to help things to get done in Congress by not acting in a strictly partisan manner. If elected to Congress, she is interested in bringing greater attention to the mental health and safety of our youth, ensuring that U.S. drug costs remain accessible, advocating for congressional term limits, creating fair and humane immigration policy, protecting social security and Medicare, and combating the opioid crisis. She is founder and CEO of her own physical therapy practice, Evolution Therapeutics LLC, and has worked with lawyers to successfully uncover Medicare fraud and patient abuse, helping to protect elderly citizens.

Alexandra Chandler

3rd Congressional District

Alexandra Chandler is running for Congress in the 3rd Massachusetts Congressional District, serving the Merrimack Valley area of the Commonwealth. She has an extensive background in military intelligence and health care. After graduating, she enrolled with the Office of Naval Intelligence, and has worked with the Whitman Walker Health Board of Directors on health initiatives for the LGBT community and persons suffering from HIV/AIDS. If elected, she will be the first openly transgender member of Congress. Her platform centers better treatment programs for addiction, “common-sense” gun safety restrictions, feminism and LGBT equality, and policies to counter climate change.

Barbara L’Italien

3rd Congressional District

Barbara L’Italien is running for the Democratic nomination for the Massachusetts 3rd Congressional District. L’Italien has served on the State Legislature since 2003, currently as a State Senator, and previously as the State Representative for the 18th Essex District. As Congresswoman, L’Italien would focus on bold actions to end the opioid epidemic, protecting the environment, strengthening public education, single-payer healthcare, “common sense” gun control, women’s right to choose, immigration reform, and affordable housing. She has received endorsements from the National Women’s Political Caucus, the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, Mass-Care, and many more.

Bopha Malone

3rd Congressional District

Bopha Malone is running as a Democratic candidate in the 3rd Congressional District of Massachusetts. Malone came to the United States as a refugee from Cambodia when she was 9 years old, a perspective she wants to bring to Congress, as someone who understands the experience of an immigrant. If elected, Malone would fight for quality education, healthcare reform, fair immigration policies, better addiction services, women’s rights, gun violence prevention, and climate change intervention. Previously, she has served as Chair of the Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association (CMAA), the Lowell Sun named her Woman of the Year in 2017. Malone is a graduate of Lesley University, and a current executive at Lowell’s Enterprise Bank.

Juana Matias

3rd Congressional District

Juana Matias is a current State Representative in the Massachusetts Legislature, serving the 16th Essex District. Now, she is running for the Democratic nomination for the 3rd Congressional District of Massachusetts. Matias is a social worker and a lawyer, and one of the first Latin American State Representatives. If elected to Congress, she would be the first Latina member of Congress from all of New England. As a member of the United States House of Representatives, Matias promises to champion public education, universal healthcare, immigration reform, environmental protection, women’s rights, affordable housing, and greater protections against gun violence. She is endorsed by BOLD Action, PODER PAC, NEW POLITICS, Latino Victory Fund, Justice Democrats, and many more.

Lori Trahan

3rd Congressional District

Lori Trahan is running for US Congress in the 3rd Congressional District of Massachusetts. She is a Democratic candidate dedicated to strengthening our public education, increasing economic mobility, making basic healthcare affordable and accessible to all, fighting for women’s right to choose, protecting the environment, reforming our gun laws, and reforming immigration. She currently serves as CEO of a business consulting firm she runs with two other women, aimed at helping companies diversify their workforce and better connect with their customers’ needs. As far as her political experience, she previously served as Chief of Staff to Congressman Marty Meehan for almost ten years. Trahan is a graduate of Georgetown University and Harvard Business School.

Katherine M. Clark

5th Congressional District

Katherine M. Clark is running for re-election as the Democratic candidate for the 5th Congressional District of Massachusetts, serving portions of Middlesex County, Suffolk County, and Worcester County. During her most recent term in Congress, she has been a strong advocate for women’s reproductive rights, and for victims of cyberstalking and online threats. If re-elected, Clark’s priorities in Congress would include creating good jobs for families, advocating for a living wage and paid family leave, increasing college affordability, investing in better infrastructure, supporting renewable energy, and establishing gun safety initiatives. Before becoming Congresswoman, Clark served as a Massachusetts State Senator, State Representative, and as a school committee member.

Ayanna Pressley

7th Congressional District

Ayanna Pressley is a current member of the Boston City Council, and the first woman of color to be elected to the council in its 108-year history. Now, she is seeking the Democratic nomination for the Massachusetts 7th Congressional District. In 2016, she was featured on the New York Times’ list of 14 Young Democrats to Watch, and in 2018, she was ranked #20 on Boston magazine’s list of “The 100 Most Influential People in Boston.” In her time on the Boston City Council, Pressley established the Committee on Healthy Women, Families, and Communities, which aims to address issues that disproportionately impact women and girls, including violence and trauma, and help promote family stability.

Brianna Wu

8th Congressional District

Brianna Wu first gained prominence during the 2014 “Gamergate” controversy, in which she faced intense sexism and harassment from the largely male video game community. After the 2016 election, she decided to run for a Congressional seat in the greater Boston area, and is seeking the Democratic nomination for the Massachusetts 8th Congressional District. As a video game developer and computer programmer, Wu wants to fight against policies that allow for unconscious bias and discrimination against women if elected to Congress. She also supports universal healthcare, LGBTQIA+ rights, cybersecurity and online privacy, paid parental leave, restorative justice, and ending the prison-industrial complex. She has also spoken about wanting to be viewed as a “genuine” candidate by younger populations, even using the streaming service Twitch.tv– traditionally used for gaming streams– to connect with younger voters.

Candidate Name District Against Additional Voting Information
Tahirah Amatul-Wadud 1st Richard Neal Voting Information for Tahirah Amatul-Wadud
Tracy Lovvorn 2nd Kevin Powers Voting Information for Tracy Lovvorn
Alexandra Chandler 3rd Open seat Voting Information for Alexandra Chandler
Barbara L’Italien 3rd Open seat Voting Information for Barbara L’Italien
Bopha Malone 3rd Open seat Voting Information for Bopha Malone
Juana Matias 3rd Open seat Voting Information for Juana Matias
Lori Trahan 3rd Open seat Voting Information for Lori Trahan
Katherine M. Clark 5th (Incumbent) Voting Information for Katherine M. Clark
Ayanna Pressley 7th Mike Capuano Voting Information for Ayanna Pressley
Brianna Wu 8th Stephen Lynch Voting Information for Brianna Wu