On Monday, former State Sen. Richard Tisei announced that he has filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to form an exploratory congressional committee on whether to go forward with a bid to represent Massachusetts’ 6th congressional district in the 2014 election.
“Like most Americans, I have been deeply disturbed by the dysfunction we are witnessing in Washington,” Tisei said in a statement. “The critical challenges facing our country have not diminished since 2012. Rather, they seem to be getting worse. The hyper-partisanship exhibited by both parties on a daily basis has created a stranglehold on our government and is preventing us from moving forward.”
Tisei added that he intends “to make a formal announcement” regarding his plans to run for Congress later this fall.
In 2012, Tisei narrowly lost his bid to oust Rep. John Tierney (D-Mass.) from his seat representing Massachusetts’ 6th congressional district. The seven-term Democratic incumbent claimed 48.3 percent of the vote compared to the 47.1 percent won by Tisei. It was the closest congressional race in New England during the 2012 election.
That race sharply divided the LGBT community. Tierney, who has strong LGBT record in Congress including a vote for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal, was backed by Democrats and gay former congressman Barney Frank. But the National Log Cabin Republicans and the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund backed Tisei.
Richard and his spouse, Bernie Starr, reside in Wakefield. Recently married in July, they are small business owners and operate a local real estate firm.
If elected, Tisei would be the first openly gay Republican to serve in Congress since former Arizona congressman Jim Kolbe left the U.S. House in 2007.
Tisei, who served in both the Massachusetts State House and State Senate for a total of 26 years, has been a perennial candidate for higher office. Tisei made a bid for lieutenant governor in 2010 as the bottom of the ticket for Republican Charlie Baker’s gubernatorial bid, but was defeated by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.