HKS Alumna Wins Special Election

December 12, 2013
By Sarah Abrams, HKS Communications

Massachusetts’ Katherine Clark MPA2 1997 was sworn in Thursday afternoon (Dec. 12) as a member of Congress. Clark glided to victory Tuesday in the special election for the 5th Congressional District seat left vacant by Edward J. Markey. The Melrose state senator and Kennedy School alumna took 66 percent of the vote compared to her rival, Republican Frank J. Addivinola Jr., who received 32 percent of the vote.

Clark ran on a platform that focused on issues that included women and families, climate change, and tougher gun laws. “I have three words for you — we did it,” Clark said in her victory speech Tuesday night. “We sent a message to the extremists in Congress that it is time to get back to work for middle class families.”

"Congresswoman Katherine Clark is a tenacious, common sense legislator who will effectively advocate and make policy to help women, families, and communities," says Victoria Budson, Women and Public Policy Program executive director. "She prioritizes economic issues understanding that they are family issues, and she will push for equal pay for equal work and a livable minimum wage. Clark is focused on helping women and knows that women continue to be concentrated in low-paying minimum wage industries."

In the Democratic primary last fall, Clark, a lawyer and state senator since 2011, overtook six rivals. The heavily Democratic district includes neighborhoods north and west of Boston. Clark will serve out the remainder of Markey’s term and will run for reelection next fall.

Clark’s election increases the number of women representing Massachusetts in Washington. She will be the third woman in the state’s current 11-member congressional delegation, joining Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Niki Tsongas. She is only the fifth woman in the history of Massachusetts to represent the state in the U.S. House.

'Progressive Champion' Katherine Clark Vows to Support Women's Causes in Congress
Naitonal Journal — It came as no surprise when Democrat Katherine Clark walloped her opponent Tuesday in a special election to fill the Massachusetts House seat vacated by Edward Markey.

By all accounts, the result was a foregone conclusion.

"It really was over after Clark won the primary in October," said David C. King, a senior lecturer in public policy at Harvard Kennedy School.

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