Primary guide: Fourth 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.

Fourth Congressional District

The district includes more than 30 cities and towns, stretching from Brookline and Newton, west to Hopkinton and south through Foxborough and Taunton to parts of Fall River.

Candidates:

Joe Kennedy III.
David L Ryan/Globe Staff

Joseph P. Kennedy III

The grandson of former US Attorney General Robert Kennedy and grand-nephew to US president John F. Kennedy, Joseph P. Kennedy III has served as the Fourth District’s representative to Congress since 2013. Kennedy joined the Peace Corps in 2003 before returning to Massachusetts and enrolling in Harvard Law School in 2009. In 2012, Kennedy was elected to the Fourth District after then-US Representative Barney Frank announced his retirement. In February, Kennedy, of Newton, delivered the Democratic Party’s response to President Trump’s State of the Union address.

What’s the most pressing issue facing the residents of the Fourth District?* President Trump has built an economy that skews rewards to the already wealthy, a health care system that protects only the healthy, and a society that gives cover too frequently to bigotry. That is the common refrain I hear from constituents, and their voices will continue to guide my work.

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What’s the one accomplishment in your professional life (elected or otherwise) of which you are most proud? Whether fighting for the displaced Philips Lighting workers in Fall River or assisting former nuclear workers battling work-related cancer in Attleboro, being able to stand up every single day for our constituents in the 4th District makes me most proud.

The Fourth District includes a wide range of communities and economies. How do/would you prioritize policy initiatives across all these areas? We fought to expand access to STEM education for underrepresented communities, guaranteed behavioral health care for children and pregnant women covered by CHIP, and pursued additional federal resources for local law enforcement confronting the opioid epidemic in our backyard.

Would you vote for Nancy Pelosi if she runs again for Leader or Speaker? Yes.

What’s the best deli in the district, and what do you usually order? Oh come on. How can I pick just one when it is an indisputable fact that the 4th District has the best delis in the entire Commonwealth?

Gary Rucinski.
Gary Rucinski.
Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

Gary J. Rucinski

For eight years, Gary Rucinski has been involved with Citizens Climate Lobby, founding a Boston chapter and serving as the organization’s Northeast regional coordinator. During that time, Rucinski has traveled to Washington D.C. to lobby for clean energy initiatives. A project manager at MIT Lincoln Laboratory with a PhD in elementary particle physics, Rucinski was raised in Billerica and now lives in Newton.

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What’s the most pressing issue facing the residents of the Fourth District? Climate change is the most pressing issue we face. For too long, Congress has shirked its responsibility to preserve our environment. As a Member of Congress, I will wake up every day and ask myself what I need to do to advance legislation that will lead to climate change being reversed.

What’s the one accomplishment in your professional life (elected or otherwise) of which you are most proud? I take pride in helping teams run efficiently and coaching coworkers in synthesizing new skills. I was especially proud when I helped a team adopt better project management practices and watched as they used their new skills to exceed their customer’s schedule and system performance expectations.

The Fourth District includes a wide range of communities and economies. How do/would you prioritize policy initiatives across all these areas? Climate change is not just an environmental issue, but an economic one where communities that have contributed the least to create the problem will suffer the most. This is true globally as well as locally in the 4th district. Pursuing policies to reverse climate change will be my top priority.

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Would you vote for Nancy Pelosi if she runs again for Leader or Speaker? Once the slate of candidates is available, I will vote for the person I judge most willing and able to restore Regular Order in how the House functions.

What’s the best deli in the district, and what do you usually order? I love the veggie burgers at Johnny’s in Newton Center.

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There are no Republican candidates in this race.

An asterisk (*) notes campaign representatives said they filled out the survey questions on behalf of the candidates.

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.

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