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Chicopee, Mass., Attorney To Challenge Rep. Richard Neal In Democratic Primary

Attorney Tahirah Amatul-Wadud is taking on Congressman Richard Neal in next year's Democratic primary. Here, Amatul-Wadud addresses supporters during a campaign event in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
Adam Frenier
/
NEPR
Attorney Tahirah Amatul-Wadud of Chicopee, Massachusetts, is taking on Congressman Richard Neal in next year's Democratic primary. Here, Amatul-Wadud addresses supporters during a campaign event in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

Longtime Springfield Congressman Richard Neal has a challenger in next year's Democratic primary. Attorney Tahirah Amatul-Wadud of Chicopee, Massachusetts, announced her candidacy Tuesday.

During a campaign event in Pittsfield, Amatul-Wadud said she plans to focus on job development, renewable energy, the opioid crisis and criminal justice.

She said she understands the difficulty of taking on Neal, the top Democrat on the influential Ways and Means Committee, and who has over $3.2 million in his campaign account.

"Our district has ridiculously low voter turnout, which says to me that we have apathy that is at crisis, epidemic levels," Amatul-Wadud said. "I wonder how much having that incumbent in office has killed people's spirits."

Neal's spokesman said he has no comment on the challenge.

Amatul-Wadud focuses on family law, but has also worked on a number of civil rights cases.

Adam joined NEPM as a freelance reporter and fill-in operations assistant during the summer of 2011. For more than 15 years, Adam has had a number stops throughout his broadcast career, including as a news reporter and anchor, sports host and play-by-play announcer as well as a producer and technician.
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