4th District Profiles: Jake Auchincloss
It isn't easy for politicians to put policy over personality when campaigning, as voters tend to tune the former out when listening. Still, Newton City Councilman Jake Auchincloss tries to make an effort to build his campaign on policy and experience with some varying degrees of success. A former captain in the Marines, Auchincloss's campaign message would be something along the lines of "my experience helps define who I am and through that I can lead." Of course it isn't just his experience in the Marines or Government that helps Mr. Auchincloss explain his "experience" but also his family ties to political figures and demographics in the district. His fathers side has had experience with working alongside the Roosevelt and Kennedy administrations, liberal legends that could inspire voters. HIs mother's side is of Jewish culture and faith, and while it is not a central part of his campaign, being Jewish could help inspire others of the faith in areas such as Brookline, Newton, and Sharon to go and vote for Mr. Auchincloss.
In terms of political alignment and policy, Mr. Auchincloss is very Democratic, but has managed to make an appeal to more centrist voters. One of the ways he has done this is make transportation a laser focus of his campaign. Auchincloss is no stranger to transportation as he has been the chairman of transportation in his work as City Councilman, and understands how the fourth district depends on it to get into Providence or Boston on a daily basis. Auchincloss has made passing the Green New Deal a priority when it comes to transport but also focuses on capping global emissions, something that progressive candidates agree with, but tend to go a little farther in what they seek from a Green New Deal. He has also made a more fiscal centered appeal to the south eastern part of the district, an area not as heavily focused on social issues as his home in Newton. Due to the fact that all nine Democratic Candidates are from Newton, it could cause the vote to be unclear on who the winner is on September 1st, causing Fall River and New Bedford to be the next best areas. This could explain why Auchincloss does not come off as "progressive" as his rivals, in order to make a real appeal to those south eastern voters. It may seem unattractive to voters in the north, but it's a good play none the less.
Of course, Mr. Auchincloss faces a lot of challenges in this race, as he has been caught in some troubling stories. In 2014, he supported Charlie Baker's run for office and was a registered Republican, something that could be seen as a turn off to Democratic Voters. But that pales in comparison to his....financial issues. A report from the Boston Globe showed Auchincloss might have benefited from PACs using his family name, and he has been removed from a no fossil fuel pledge due to him not returning a $2800 from an oil company. Yes, Mr. Auchincloss does have a lot of explaining towards many voters, but perhaps he can push through beyond that. After all, experience is a powerful thing in primaries, look what happened with the 2020 Presidential Primary.