- Associated Press - Monday, July 22, 2019

HOLYOKE, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts mayor first elected at age 22 has announced a Democratic primary challenge to the longest-serving member of the state’s congressional delegation and one of the most powerful members of the House.

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse on Monday said he is running against U.S. Rep. Richard Neal because Neal has been “absent, unaccountable, and unavailable” and “largely silent on the issues that matter most.”

The 30-year-old Morse was first elected in 2011. He touted his record in attracting investment to the city, reducing crime and boosting high school graduation rates.

The 70-year-old Neal is a 30-year incumbent and chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.

A Neal spokesman welcomed Morse into the democratic process and touted Neal’s record as “a champion for working families.”

The district covers much of western Massachusetts.

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