US Representative John F. Tierney and challenger Seth Moulton swapped accusations of dishonesty and shoddy campaigning Monday, a day before voters decide which Democrat to nominate for November.
Tierney, the nine-term congressman from Salem, said his race against Moulton had turned “nastier” than this previous tight races, blaming the challenger for the tone.
“It’s an odd way to prove you can work with both sides of the aisle by alienating Democrats, and going out with nasty ads like that,” Tierney said, referring to a Moulton ad that depicted Tierney as ineffective.
Moulton, an Iraq War Marine veteran and Harvard Business School alumnus, has criticized as untruthful a Tierney ad that seeks to tie him to conservatives. Standing outside a Bedford Whole Foods on Monday, he told one prospective supporter, “It’s hard to run against someone who lies about you.”
“I’m surprised a longtime Democratic incumbent would put up a false ad against a fellow Democrat,” Moulton told a reporter. “But he’s obviously desperate.”
A lack of public polling in the race has raised questions among political observers unaccustomed to Massachusetts incumbents facing stiff intraparty challenges. Three other Democrats are on the ballot on Tuesday: Marisa DeFranco, John P. Devine, and John J. Gutta.
But it is Moulton who poses the deepest threat to Tierney.
Tierney, campaigning at the New Brothers deli in Danvers Tuesday afternoon, mingled with potential voters, some of whom recognized him from his long career in North Shore politics.
Others did not.
“He was very friendly,” said Ammara Oum, a real estate agent stopping into the deli for lunch. “I’ve never met him, but everyone else seems to know him.”