The super PAC that helped oust four longtime House members last cycle is setting its sights on a new target: Massachusetts Democrat John Tierney. The Boston Globe reported Sunday that former Marine Seth Moulton plans to challenge Tierney for the Democratic nomination next year, and the Campaign for Primary Accountability, a group that wreaked havoc last cycle opposing incumbents from both sides of the aisle, wants to lend a helping hand.
"We're very excited," said Curtis Ellis, a spokesman for the group. "He's exactly the kind of candidate that we're interested in seeing. He's a serious guy." Moulton served four tours in Iraq and has three degrees from Harvard.
Ellis said the group plans to commission polling in Tierney's district to assess the nine-term incumbent's vulnerability in the primary. If the race appears winnable, the Campaign for Primary Accountability will get involved. "Mr. Tierney has been there for a long time," Ellis said. "He's entrenched, if not encrusted. We're taking this one very seriously."
Tierney barely survived the general election last year, defeating GOP nominee Richard Tisei by just one point despite having to deal with the illegal offshore gambling scandal that landed his wife and her brother in legal trouble. Tisei has said he's considering running again in 2014.
The Campaign for Primary Accountability, which is funded by Texas businessman Leo Linbeck III, spent heavily last cycle in districts where they identified longtime incumbents who appeared vulnerable to primary challenges. The group helped hand primary defeats last year to four House members -- Democrats Tim Holden of Pennsylvania and Silvestre Reyes of Texas, as well as Republicans Don Manzullo of Illinois and Jean Schmidt of Ohio.
Tierney, who is a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Frontline Program for vulnerable incumbents, nearly lost his seat a year ago, and it looks like he could have his hands full again in 2014.
CORRECTION: The original version of this story gave the wrong party for former Reps. Don Manzullo and Jean Schmidt. They are both Republicans.