Until he was elected, the Worcester Democrat worked as an aide for 15 years for U.S. Rep. J. Joseph Moakley of Boston.
“Moakley’s advice was, ‘Get to know everybody,’ “ McGovern said during an interview at the Sorelle Bakery & Café in the Charlestown section of Boston. “Get to know their spouses and kids and find out if they have dogs and cats. Build relationships with everybody. In order to get things done, you need people to help you.”
McGovern, 52, said he has made good use of that advice over nearly 16 years as an elected member of Congress.
After toppling a Republican incumbent in 1996, he is serving his eighth term in the U.S. House, currently as the No. 2 ranking minority member of the powerful House Committee on Rules, which screens bills and sets conditions for debate. McGovern spends a lot of time on the House floor, acting as traffic cop for legislation.
If he wins re-election on Nov. 6, McGovern will also become a new congressman for the upper Pioneer Valley.
Under a congressional redistricting law , approved in November by the state Legislature, McGovern’s district picked up seven Hampshire communities, including Amherst and Northampton, plus Greenfield and 13 other Franklin communities and one precinct in Palmer in Hampden.
Redistricting was needed after the state lost one of its 10 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives because of slow population growth during the past decade.
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