Are good people choosing not to run for public office? - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Are good people choosing not to run for public office?

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BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) -- Five Democratic US Congressmen appear to have a lock on re-election in 2014 because they're all running unopposed.

Us Rep. Joe Kennedy, Rep. Jim McGovern, Rep. Mike Capuano, Rep. Stephen Lynch and Rep. Richard Neal are not facing challenges from Republicans or even other Democrats.

It raises the question, are good people just not interested in running for public office anymore?

"I think that a lot of people just tune it out, because they think this is not enough for me, this is not for my family, my skin's not thick enough, I don't want to be subject to daily negative attacks," said Peter Ubertaccio, director of the Martin Institute at Stonehill College.

He says if Massachusetts had a "more viable opposition party" then more people would run.

"The Republican party is so weak here. That you really can't be guaranteed a basic level of support by throwing your hat in the ring. So you really need to do it all on your own," he said.

The Massachusetts Republican party told FOX 25 that it's heavily focused on at least two of the races, including the governor's race where Charlie Baker is a contender and the 6th Congressional district.

"We do have a strong Congressional candidate in Richard Tisei in the 6th and we are very proud to stand by him and support him," added spokeswoman Emmalee Kalmbach.

Ubertaccio also says running against an entrenched Democrat takes time, energy and money, and for Republicans, it can be hard to convince the national party to invest in candidates here, let alone the local party.

As far as Democrats willing to challenge the status quo, Ubertaccio says you "can do yourself some real damage if you don't end up winning."

So who is facing a challenge? Congressman John Tierney is in the most crowded race, running against four other Democrats while Tisei remains on the Republican ticket.

Congressman Bill Keating will run against the Republican who wins a four way primary in the 9th district.

Congresswoman Katherine Clark is facing a Democratic challenger, while Congresswoman Niki Tsongas is facing a challenge from a Republican.

Also, this fall US Senator Ed Markey is running for a full six year term and is facing Republican Brian Herr.

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