Metro

Nadeem Mazen, former Cambridge city councilor, drops out of race for Niki Tsongas’ seat

Nadeem A. Mazen was hoping to succeed retiring Representative Niki Tsongas.
JOHN BLANDING/GLOBE STAFF/FILE 2015
Nadeem A. Mazen was hoping to succeed retiring Representative Niki Tsongas.

Former Cambridge City Councilor Nadeem A. Mazen announced Sunday he has dropped out of the crowded race for the Democratic nomination to succeed US Representative Niki Tsongas.

Mazen, who grew up in Andover, said he ended his campaign because his fund-raising hasn’t kept pace with several of his opponents. And, he told the Globe, a health scare late last year — a pulmonary embolism — also set him back.

“I was surprised by the momentum and the speed with which others have raised nearly or over a million dollars,” Mazen said. “I can’t compete with fundraising like that.”

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More than a dozen candidates, Democrats and Republicans, are running for the Third District, which runs along the New Hampshire border from Haverhill to Winchendon, and south to Marlborough and Hudson.

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Tsongas, a Lowell Democrat, announced last year she is retiring from Congress.

Several candidates for the seat have raised eye-popping sums of money. Democrat Dan Koh, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s former chief of staff, has raised $1.6 million since September, according to his campaign.

Mazen, an entrepreneur and activist, served on the Cambridge City Council from 2014 through December of last year. He was the state’s highest-profile Muslim elected official.

Mazen had originally planned to run from Cambridge against US Representative Michael E. Capuano. He said Sunday he’ll continue to focus on advocacy, including on increasing voter turnout in key elections this November.

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The district leans Democrat. In 2016, Hillary Clinton bested Donald Trump 57 percent to 35 percent, according to the non-partisan Cook Political Report.