Obama Endorses Candidate in Local State Rep Race
LOWELL -- Tram Nguyen, Democratic candidate for state representative in the 18th Essex District, was among six political candidates across the state to be endorsed by President Barack Obama Monday.
Obama’s “second wave of 2018 midterm endorsements” was tweeted out early in the day.
“I am extremely honored to have this endorsement,” said Nguyen, of Andover. “This will definitely help build momentum and we’ve had great momentum since the start of the campaign.”
The 18th Essex District, which includes a pair of Tewksbury precincts, as well as Andover, Boxford and North Andover, is currently represented by Republican incumbent James Lyons.
For Nguyen, the fact that this race is important enough to gain nationwide attention is thrilling.
“I want voters to know that this race is about building a stronger, brighter and more inclusive community, and that I will be a tireless advocate for this community -- not just for the people who share my views, but for everyone in my district,” Nguyen said.
This summer, Nguyen was named a spotlight candidate by the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. It was through the DLCC that she heard Obama was interested in looking at the race.
“Today, I’m proud to endorse even more Democratic candidates who aren’t just running against something, but for something -- to expand opportunity for all of us and to restore dignity, honor, and compassion to public service,” Obama’s tweet read.
Among those who also received Obama’s endorsement were Jay Gonzalez for governor; Quentin Palfrey for lieutenant governor; and Ayanna Pressley for the state’s 7th Congressional District.
Nguyen was 5 years old when she and her family came to the states as political refugees, leaving behind the communist regime in Vietnam.
Currently, Nguyen is a legal aid attorney, who has represented domestic violence survivors, workers, veterans and more. Among other issues, Nguyen is advocating for common sense gun safety, reproductive rights and prevention and treatment to address the opioid epidemic.
“I stand for inclusion, equality and making sure that we have the quality of life we deserve in the district,” Nguyen said. “I stand polar opposite to my opponent in this race.”
Lyons, who also lives in Andover, is serving his fourth term representing the district. He offered no reaction to Obama’s endorsement of Tram, and instead said he has been focusing on a grassroots campaign in the district, knocking on the doors of his constituents.
“That’s the endorsement that I’m looking for,” Lyons said of his constituents. “I’ve gotten it four times and I’m hoping to get it again. Clearly, the special interest that I work to represent are the hardworking taxpayers of the district. I always put my district first and I’m going to continue to do that.”
Known for his conservative political views, Lyons is often one of two outlier votes on Beacon Hill, along with Republican Rep. Marc Lombardo, of Billerica.
Follow Kori Tuitt on Twitter @KoriTuitt.