Newburyport News: Moulton stumps for votes

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NEWBURYPORT — Congressional candidate Seth Moulton’s resume provides a mini-portrait by the numbers: He served four Marine tours in Iraq, he holds three degrees from Harvard, this is his first campaign for the 6th District seat and he is 35 years old.

Moulton yesterday spoke to the Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and he appeared to make a positive impression on the gathering of almost 100.

The Democratic newcomer didn’t dwell on his surprisingly comfortable victory in the recent party primary over nine-term veteran John Tierney.

Instead, he melded elements of his life story with outlines of his political goals as he essentially introduced himself to the business community of northern Essex County. 

He will face Republican Richard Tisei and independent Christopher Stockwell in November.

Moulton was brought up in Marblehead, attended local schools, enrolled at Harvard and went off to the Marines as part of a calling to provide public service.

One of his duties as a lieutenant in Iraq was to supervise public media operations while stressing the value of a free press.

He whimsically recalled that he was responsible for a film program on local channels. One night his team aired the Hollywood movie “Basic Instinct,” which even many Americans would find sexy and provocative.

Moulton said his team was instructed to cut away to Islamic propaganda tapes when the film got racy — out of respect for Islamic beliefs and religious purity.

One night after the movie aired he went to a recreation hall that held a roomful of young Islamic men. They were angry and chanting oaths.

Moulton, fearing he had offended them and their belief system, asked his translator why they were so angry.

“The translator told me the young men were irate because censors turned off the film right when they were getting to the good part,” Moulton said with a smile.

Moulton said he learned much in the Marines because he served with Americans from all over the country.

“We didn’t go to the rifle range much in Marblehead,” the voluble candidate said, “so I didn’t know a lot about gun ownership and the Second Amendment.

“I got to hear many different points of view, and acquired an appreciation of how others think. I feel that I will listen and work well with others if sent to Washington.”

Upon leaving the Marines, he returned to Harvard and enrolled in a double-degree program that resulted in master’s degrees in business and public administration.

Thereafter, he served as an executive for a short time with the Texas Central Railway, which was focusing on high-speed rail transit in that state.

Moulton soon returned to New England, though, and launched a business with several colleagues called Eastern Healthcare Partners. It is a start-up seeking solutions to conditions such as obesity.

He said that the company was created because there are few institutes — such as the Dana Farber cancer treatment centers — that are dedicated to treating this multi-faceted condition.

Among the firm’s partners is Johns Hopkins University.

Moulton left the company in recent months to run for Congress, but he said that health care is one of his key concerns.

The candidate said that the issues he would address if elected are jobs and the economy, education (including accessible pre-school and kindergarten), veterans affairs and equality in pay among men and women.

Moulton recalled that one of his most memorable campaign trips recently was to the venerable Agawam Diner in Rowley.

“That diner has seen candidates come and go,” Moulton recalled. “My host took me over to an older gentleman who has met many, many candidates over the years.

“He told me, ‘Don’t go down there as a Democrat or as a Republican. Go as an American.’ And that’s what I will do if elected.”

 

Read the full article in the Newburyport Daily News here.