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Our members are the local governments of Massachusetts and their elected and appointed leadership.
With his transition from City Hall to Capitol Hill underway, Jake Auchincloss has stepped down from the Newton City Council and is preparing to represent Massachusetts’ Fourth Congressional District as of Jan. 3.
Auchincloss, 32, will succeed outgoing U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III, after prevailing over eight other candidates in the Sept. 1 primary and defeating former Attleboro Councillor Julie Hall in the Nov. 3 general election. His district includes 34 communities, stretching from Newton and Brookline in the north to Swansea and parts of Fall River in the south.
A Marine veteran, Auchincloss was first elected to the Newton Council in 2015 and was halfway through his third term. In media interviews and public appearances, he has emphasized his experience as a municipal official and said it would inform his approach as a legislator in Washington, D.C.
“Being on the City Council has been one of the best experiences of my life,” Auchincloss said in a Nov. 10 Zoom discussion presented by the Newton-Needham Regional Chamber of Commerce. “Oftentimes, during the campaign, my Marine Corps record was one of the first bio points brought up in press articles, but actually my service as a city councillor was to me more formative in how I would approach being a member of Congress.”
Auchincloss also called local government “the most effective level of government in the United States.” He said being a councillor had taught him the importance of relationship building, constituent services and public outreach and communication, among other lessons. Any time he walked his dog or went to the grocery store, he said, he would hear about his neighbors’ concerns about potholes and trash pickup, or about nearby development.
Before the primary, he told The Boston Globe’s editorial board that he had been watching the pandemic’s effect on municipal finances, and that in Congress he would prioritize federal relief to local governments.
“They’re going to be severely affected for the next two fiscal years at least by really restricted municipal budgets, and we need some relief,” he told the Globe.
Auchincloss served as a captain in the U.S. Marines, leading combat patrols in Afghanistan in 2012, and later, a reconnaissance team in Panama to conduct drug interdiction training. Earlier this year, he was elevated to the rank of major.
He has also worked as a managing director of the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition, as a product manager at cybersecurity startup Barkly, and as a senior manager at Liberty Mutual’s innovation lab. He has a bachelor’s degree in government and economics from Harvard University, and an MBA in finance from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
The city of Newton has not yet set an election date to fill Auchincloss’ seat, or the one left vacant by the Nov. 7 death of his fellow councillor, Allan “Jay” Ciccone Jr. The election will likely take place early next year, according to the city clerk’s office.
Before Auchincloss, the most recent municipal official elected to Congress was former Boston city councillor Ayanna Pressley, who became the first woman of color to represent the state in 2019. On Nov. 3, Pressley was reelected as Massachusetts’ Seventh District representative.