The brother of a pilot hijacked during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks launched his general election campaign for Congress Wednesday with a sharp attack on his opponent, the widow of one-time presidential candidate Paul Tsongas.
Niki Tsongas won Tuesday's Democratic primary in the race to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Martin Meehan, who is resigning to become chancellor of the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.
On the Republican side, Jim Ogonowski, whose brother was captain of American Airlines Flight 11, one of two hijacked planes flown into the World Trade Center in 2001, easily won his party's nomination.
"Niki's a nice person. I like her. I know she means well, but let's face it, she presents more of the same tired Washington that continues to fail us," Ogonowski told supporters at his campaign headquarters. "She is wrong on the issues and she is not right for this district."
Tsongas, meanwhile, pledged to end the war in Iraq and "send a message to the White House." in the Oct. 16 special election.
"In the end, this election will be a referendum on the Bush administration, and I represent the Democratic voice and the alternate view," Tsongas said. The 5th District seat has been in Democratic hands since her husband won it in 1974.
It will be fascinating to watch this unfold. Paul Tsongas was my type of Democrat, although it doesn't seem that Niki styles herself as being anything like her late husband.
The lover of political theater in me appreciates the attempt to label sending another Democrat to Congress from this district for the 18th election in a row as the "alternate view."
The word "audacious" comes to mind.