GOP's Green wants to bridge the gap with White House
By Peter Lucas
He won't write a book, accept a pension, or become a lobbyist.
What he will do, if elected, is become the state's much-needed pipeline to President Donald Trump.
The "he" is successful businessman Rick Green, 47, a Republican, who is running for Congress in the 3rd Congressional District, a revamped district that has not elected a Republican in 46 years.
That was when the late Paul Cronin of Andover defeated Democrat John Kerry of anti-Vietnam war notoriety, who moved into the district to make the run. Cronin served one term before he was ousted by the late Democrat Paul Tsongas.
Green, a Scott Brown/John Kasich type of Republican, is unopposed in the GOP primary. This means he has a free ride until he faces off with whomever wins the crowded Democrat primary on September 4.
That Democrat primary contest, which rightly has received all the media attention, has so far been a non-controversial snoozer. It has attracted 11 think-alike progressive Democrats, all of whom sound the same -- Trump bad, me good.
The district, which is represented by U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas, who is not seek re-election, is made up of 37 communities in and around the Merrimack Valley.
It hugs the New Hampshire border, swings out to Winchendon and Fitchburg, includes the cities of Lowell, Lawrence and Haverhill, as well as the suburban towns of Westford, Groton and Sudbury.
Green lives in the small town of Pepperell (pop.
2,500) where, if you take a wrong turn, you end up in the woods or New Hampshire. But he knows the district well.
He is the founder and CEO of 1A Auto, an innovative Pepperell-based auto parts firm that employs several hundred people, grosses $200 million in annual revenue and has branches in Littleton and Westford.
As the leader of a business that he founded when he was in his twenties, Green thinks he knows a thing or two about creating jobs.
The married father of three, Green has not run for office before, but campaigned for both Scott Brown and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who was defeated for president by Donald Trump in the 2016 Massachusetts GOP presidential primary.
He is also the founder of the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, a conservative fiscal watchdog nonprofit organization that advocates for fiscal responsibility and accountability in state government.
While Green is not an outspoken critic of President Trump, as is Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, he is not an outspoken fan either, but seems to be walking a tightrope on Trump.
He said his contest was not about Trump, but about him and the people of the congressional district.
Asked if he would like Trump to come to Massachusetts and campaign for him, Green said he was not seeking Trump's support but "if it comes, it comes."
Despite his lukewarm attitude toward Trump, Green believes he can be a needed conduit between Massachusetts and the president.
He also pointed out that his goal, as a congressman, would be to serve on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to work on investing in such job-creating projects as the Route 2 rotary in Concord and the Rourke Bridge in Lowell.
It is no secret that Trump has zero support from Republican Baker or any of the members of the state's congressional delegation, all of whom are Democrats. In fact, politicians like U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Eddie Markey, along with U.S. Reps. Seth Moulton and Joe Kennedy, attack Trump almost daily.
This total lack of rapport with the White House makes it impossible for these so-called leaders to get support from Trump when it comes to saving jobs going to Mexico, as is the case with Philips Lighting of Fall River.
If any of these politicians had any connection with the White House they could call Trump and seek his intervention and save those 200 Philips Lighting jobs going south of the border. But they don't. All they have is talk.
Green thinks that he could bridge that gap. He said that if, for instance, New Balance in Lawrence threatened to move, he would be on the phone to the president in a minute.
He said that, if elected, he would be the only Republican in the Massachusetts delegation to Washington and that Trump, a fellow businessman, would take notice.
"I would do that for New Balance or any Massachusetts company," he said. "I can bridge that divide" between Massachusetts and the White House, he added.
"I want to be the governor's representative in Washington to get things done," said Green.
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