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Dave Cavell, onetime Obama speechwriter, jumps in race for Kennedy’s congressional seat

Dave Cavell is a former speechwriter for President Obama and senior adviser to Attorney General Maura Healey.

And then there were six.

Dave Cavell, a former speechwriter for President Obama and most recently a senior adviser to Attorney General Maura Healey, is the latest candidate to launch a bid to fill the congressional seat Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III is leaving to run for the Senate.

“We need to restore the rule of law in Washington,” Cavell, 35, said in a telephone interview with the Globe, signaling that he plans to highlight his work with Healey as he campaigns in a crowded field.

Working with Healey, he said, he helped fight “against a president who is wreaking havoc against our institutions and our communities and causing real harm to working families in Massachusetts.”


Cavell, who lives in Brookline, will kick off his campaign with stops in Attleboro and Taunton later this week and next week to talk about the opioid crisis, including meeting with families and people in recovery. He characterized the stops as picking up where he left off with his work on the issue in Healey’s office.

Kennedy’s decision to launch a primary challenge to Senator Edward J. Markey for the Senate has set off a deluge of Democrats eager to head to Washington.

Other Democrats competing in the primary so far are Newton City Councilor Becky Walker Grossman, 39; Alan Khazei, the 58-year-old cofounder of City Year, a Brookline resident and two-time Senate candidate; Jake Auchincloss, 31, another Newton city councilor and a Marine veteran; Jesse Mermell, 39, of Brookline, a former top Deval Patrick aide; and Ihssane Leckey, 34, a self-described democratic socialist from Brookline.

It’s less clear which Republicans might run in the Democratic-leaning district, which stretches from Boston’s western suburbs to the South Coast. Kennedy faced no GOP opponent in 2018 and won against a Republican challenger by 40 points in 2016.


In 2016, Hillary Clinton won the district over Donald Trump, 58 percent to 34 percent, according to the Cook Political Report.

Victoria McGrane can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @vgmac.