SALEM, Mass. – The Democratic congressman who led a failed attempt to topple Nancy Pelosi as speaker of the House says he may join the increasingly crammed crowd of candidates seeking his party’s presidential nomination.
Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts expressed his “serious interest” Monday at a town hall meeting at Salem State University in his home district. The comment came only two days after Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts formally launched her presidential campaign.
“I’m looking at it,” said Moulton. “I’m going to spend even more time than I have in the past year listening to Americans and seeing what they are looking for in the next president. And if I think that I might be able to fulfill some of those things … then I’ll step up and do it.”
Moulton said he has no immediate plans to create a presidential campaign committee or even an exploratory committee, “but ultimately, it’s about how can I best serve the country, and that’s how I’m going to make this decision.”
The 40-year-old Moulton overwhelmingly won a third congressional term from his suburban Boston district in November. He was also instrumental in campaigning for House candidates elsewhere in the country, helping Democrats take back 40 seats to become the majority party in the House.
But when he spearheaded an effort to prevent Pelosi from returning as speaker, he ran into criticism from members of his party, and ultimately failed in his bid to replace the 78-year-old congresswoman from California.
Moulton, a vocal opponent of President Donald Trump, is a former U.S. Marine captain who served four tours of duty in Iraq. He has already spoken to political gatherings in Iowa and New Hampshire, the traditional first ground tests of presidential candidates.
If he runs for president, he will join several other Democratic members of Congress, in addition to Warren, already in the race. They include Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Sen. Kamala Harris of California.
John F. Kennedy was the last presidential candidate from Massachusetts to win the White House in 1960. Two other politicians from the state failed as the Democratic nominee – former Gov. Michael Dukakis in 1988 and former Sen. John Kerry in 2004.
Mitt Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, lost his bid for the presidency as the Republican nominee in 2012. He was elected to the U.S. Senate from Utah last November.