BEDFORD - Four candidates in the 6th Congressional District Democratic primary faced off in a debate at Middlesex Community College Thursday afternoon, addressing issues including the economy, foreign policy and education.

Nine-term incumbent Rep. John Tierney debated with three challengers - U.S. Marine veteran and businessman Seth Moulton, immigration lawyer Marisa DeFranco and business owner John Devine. Moulton, DeFranco and Devine challenged Tierney on his record of having passed just one bill over 18 years of service.

When asked if the constituents of the 6th District were better off now than they were two years ago, each said no. Tierney declined to give a yes or no answer, but said that the middle class was in the process of recovering.

"I believe it's time for a new generation of leadership in Washington," Moulton said. Tierney defended his work on economic issues and education, and blamed House Speaker John Boehner for making it difficult to get bills passed with bipartisan support.

"Thousands of people come to our office all the time, and know that whether it's a veterans problem or a housing problem, or a social security problem or Medicare, they're going to get the kind of attention that they deserve and that we take great pride in providing on that," Tierney said.

The 6th District includes the Middlesex County communities of Bedford, Billerica, Burlington, North Reading, Reading, Tewksbury, Wakefield and Wilmington.


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Most of the district comprises is made up of 31 communities in Essex County, including Amesbury, Beverly, Gloucester, Lynn, Newburyport, Peabody and Salem.

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