One overarching question confronts voters in the Fourth Congressional District: How big a chance are they willing to take on a rather untested member of the latest generation of Kennedys? While Joseph Kennedy III carries the most formidable surname in Massachusetts Democratic politics, it’s hard to imagine any other 32-year-old Middlesex County assistant district attorney being treated as a prohibitive favorite for the seat being vacated by liberal icon Barney Frank. Moreover, Kennedy has a strong Republican opponent in 37-year-old Sean Bielat, a Marine reservist and former tech executive who made an energetic showing two years ago against Frank — and whose experience, education, and enthusiasm for public service are in some ways similar to Kennedy’s.
But voters who believe that Frank’s values, issue positions, and tireless advocacy served his district and the country well should take a chance on Kennedy. He has natural political gifts that make up for his inexperience, and voters can feel confident he will grow into an effective advocate for the district.