In the latest chapter among seven rivals battling for endorsements and attention, Democratic congressional candidate Peter Koutoujian today picked up the backing of House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo.
Koutoujian, the Middlesex sheriff and a former state lawmaker, faces six rivals in the Oct. 15 Democratic primary. Many of the other Democrats have won other endorsements as well.
"I know how important it is for a district to have a strong dedicated and intelligent representative always willing to do what is in the best interest of his or her constituents,” DeLeo said in a statement released by Koutoujian's campaign. “Peter will be that person for the Fifth Congressional District. Peter has proven to be a leader on issues important to the fifth district , including issues relating to working families, health care, women's rights, seniors and protection against gun violence. This is why I am proud to endorse my friend Peter Koutoujian for Congress."
The Democratic candidates appeared at a forum Tuesday night, as each seeks to stand out in the crowded field.
“You have a hard choice. We all sound the same,” said State Senator Karen Spilka of Ashland, noting the Democratic candidates’ uniform support for abortion rights, increased federal gun control measures, and other touchstone liberal agenda items.
Other candidates have also picked up endorsements over the course of the campaign.
EMILY’s List, a well-funded national group that supports women who back abortion rights, is backing Sen. Katherine Clark.
State Rep. Carl Sciortino won the backing of some liberal Congressmen, and Spilka and Koutoujian gained the support of a number of organized labor groups and local elected officials.
DeLeo and Koutoujian plan to campaign this morning in Winthrop, the campaign said.
“From standing strong together against gun violence at the start of my days in the State House to making sure every hospital in Massachusetts provided emergency contraception to women who needed it, Speaker DeLeo has seen firsthand the issues that I care about, and the values at my core,” said Koutoujian. “I am proud to have his support.”