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Primary guide: Fifth Congressional District

Here’s a look at the candidates on the Sept. 4 primary ballot, with biographies reported and compiled by Globe staff and correspondents. Candidates have also filled out a brief survey at our request.

Fifth Congressional District

The Fifth Congressional District stretches from Southborough and Framingham to the northwest suburbs of Boston and east to Winthrop, and it includes parts of Everett, Cambridge, Revere, Malden and Woburn, as well as Lexington, Waltham, and Wayland.



Katherine Clark.Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

Katherine Clark

Clark, an attorney, moved from Colorado to Massachusetts in 1995, and she served as general counsel in the state Office of Child Care Services from 1997 to 2003. After serving on the school committee in her hometown of Melrose, Clark entered the Massachusetts House of Representatives via a 2007 special election and won a full term in 2008. Clark, 55, ascended to the state Senate in 2011, where she served as chairman of the Joint Committee on Judiciary and the Committee on Steering and Policy. She was elected to the US House of Representatives in a 2013 special election.

During your time in the US House, what’s the accomplishment of which you are most proud? My work fighting the opioid crisis. I’ve collaborated with families, treatment professionals, and those in recovery to translate their experiences into legislative solutions. I worked across the aisle to pass bills to help babies born exposed to opioids, alleviate the shortage of treatment workers with a new student loan forgiveness program, and track and secure opioids by requiring e-prescribing.


If reelected, what are your top two priorities for your second term? Keep fighting for policies that tackle the economic challenges affecting families like the cost of child care. My 21st Century Child Care Investment Act will ensure families can access affordable, high-quality child care through a tax-credit program. I’ll also continue standing up to Republican assaults on health care, voting rights, women, immigrants, the environment, and the LGBT community.


What’s something you’ve learned about the Fifth District and/or its residents that you didn’t know when you were first elected? I always knew what a powerhouse we were with our colleges and universities and our thriving innovation economy, but now we are a mecca for some incredible craft breweries, from Jack’s Abby in Framingham to Lord Hobo in Woburn to Idle Hands in Malden!

Would you vote for Nancy Pelosi if she runs again for leader or speaker? Yes.

You unexpectedly have two unscheduled hours during campaign season. Where do you go, and what do you do? Take a run in the Fells with my husband and our dog Bodie, and then get an ice cream with my mom. She has late-stage Alzheimer’s, but ice cream and my sons still make her smile.


John Hugo

An Arlington native, Hugo resides in Woburn. In 2000, he ran for state Senate, narrowly losing the primary. Hugo, in an interview with RedMassGroup.com, said he has served as the secretary of the Greater Boston Young Republicans.

The candidate did not respond to requests to complete the Globe’s survey.

Louis Kuchnir

Louis Kuchnir

The son of Brazilian immigrants, Kuchnir founded Kuchnir Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery in 2001. Kuchnir, 52, attended MIT as an undergraduate and received a PhD from Harvard in physical chemistry. According to his practice’s website, Kuchnir is a faculty member at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and served as president of the Massachusetts Academy of Dermatology from 2009 to 2015. He lives in Southborough.


In your professional life, what’s the accomplishment of which you are most proud? As the son of immigrants, I understand how all Americans aspire to build better lives for themselves. It has been an honor to care for tens of thousands of patients as the only Brazilian-American dermatologist in the Commonwealth. I’m most proud of having accomplished this while raising four wonderful children with my loving wife.

If elected, what’s the first bill/initiative that you would push through Congress, and how specifically would it benefit district residents?

Count on me to make sure that immigration remains safe and legal and that our immigrants are welcomed, respected, and assimilated. All our families must benefit from the opportunities that America graciously provides. The current situation calls for collaborative legislation. I would rapidly unite the nation behind overdue immigration reforms borne of sensible compassion.

What are the two greatest differences between you and your primary opponent? Please be specific. Our great state deserves a balanced delegation, and I would be honored to be a part of it. In short: I am a moderate, my opponent is divisive. I am electable, my opponent is not. Together, we can move forward as one nation, and I am asking each voter to help me accomplish that goal. If elected, I would represent everyone. Not just those who support me, not just those who vote. Everyone.


Grade President Trump on his job performance thus far. Please use the A-to-F scale and, if you’d like, include a short explanation.

I respect the presidency. This president is frequently impolitic. It’s a tough job, no matter who does it. Thus far, grading on job performance alone, recognizing Donald Trump’s leadership, forthrightness, and divisiveness, I’d offer a midterm grade of a “gentleman’s C.”

You unexpectedly have two unscheduled hours during the campaign. Where do you go, and what do you do?

I’ve lived with and worked for the people in Massachusetts for 30 years. Now, I humbly offer to serve the communities I love in the US Congress. I’d spend both hours at home with my wife.

The Globe’s primary guide was written by Globe correspondents Matt Stout, Marek Mazurek, Sophia Eppolito, and Jamie Halper, as well as Joshua Miller, Maria Cramer, Michael Levenson, Milton J. Valencia and Stephanie Ebbert of the Globe staff.

It was compiled and edited by Shira Center, and produced by Christina Prignano.