10 Dem candidates battling it out in crowded race to replace Tsongas

BOSTON (WHDH) - Ten Democratic Congressional hopefuls are hoping to come out on top next month in a crowded 3rd District race to replace U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas.

The candidates include the front-runner Daniel Koh, a former chief of staff to Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, who claimed 19 percent support in a recent UMass Lowell poll and his closest competitors, Rufus Gifford, the former U.S. ambassador to Denmark, and state Sen. Barbara L’Italien.

Koh, 33, of Andover, previously served as Chief of Staff at the Huffington Post and worked as an advisor to former Boston Mayor Tom Menino and as an intern for former U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy.

In addition to serving as the former U.S. ambassador to Denmark, Gifford, 44, of Concord, is something of a reality TV star in the country, having appeared in a show titled “The American Ambassador.” He also spent 10 years as a senior aide to former President Barack Obama.

L’Italien, 57, of Andover, was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 2003, where she represented a district including Andover, Haverhill, and Methuen and served as the vice chair of the Ways and Means Committee. She was elected to the state Senate in 2015 and represents Andover, Dracut, Lawrence and Tewksbury and chair the committees on Elder Affairs and Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure.

Also running are:

Jeffrey Ballinger, 64, of Andover, who served as an advisor to the U.S. State Department, and worked as a professor or fellow at Northeastern University, Webster University, McMaster University, and the University of Pisa.

Alexandra Chandler, a former U.S. Navy Intelligence analyst from Haverhill.

Abhijit Beej Das, of Lowell, is the president and CEO of  Troca Hotels Management, Inc.

Leonard Golder, 67, an attorney from Stow.

Bopha Malone, a bank executive from Bedford.

State Rep. Juana Matias, of Lawrence, who represents the 16th Essex District.

Lori Trahan, a businesswoman from Westford, who served as chief of staff and advisor to former Congressman Marty Meehan.

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