Ayanna Pressley Has A Challenger — Meet Rayla Campbell

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2020/04/30/ayanna-pressley-has-a-challenger-meet-rayla-campbell/

When elected to represent Massachusetts’s Seventh Congressional District last year, Ayanna Pressley became the state’s first black Congresswoman.

Now, Rayla Campbell, a 37-year-old Randolph resident, hopes to be the second — by defeating Pressley in the general election this November.

A D+34 district, according to the Cook Partisan Voting Index, the district is one of the most Democratic-leaning in the nation. In general elections, the seat has been uncontested since 2010. After unseating Michael Capuano in the Democratic primary in September 2018, Pressley ran unopposed in the general election.

In fact, Democrats ran unopposed in four of the state’s nine congressional districts in 2018 (in the First, Fourth, Seventh, and Eighth).

Campbell told New Boston Post that’s unacceptable, especially when she sees many in her community who are not happy with Pressley.

“She’s not very well-liked around here — at all,” Campbell said in a recent telephone interview. “We see the way she is trying to implement changes in a fly, sneaky way, and people don’t like it. It’s not the way Randolph wants to be. She just constantly pushes her identity politics. It’s anti-American and militant. It’s not the way Randolph wants to be seen.”

Pressley is a member of a group of four first-term left-wing women of color who quickly made a splash in Washington D.C. shortly after the 2018 election, known together as The Squad. The most prominent member is U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.

Pressley’s notoriety doesn’t bother Campbell.

“I’m not afraid to stand up to the left,” Campbell said. “More Republicans need to get on these ballots to give people a choice. If you don’t have another voice to challenge, people will stick to the status quo — and the status quo is not working.”

The lifelong Republican told New Boston Post she is pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, and pro-school choice; that she opposes the Green New Deal and does not want to lower the voting age to 16; and that she would like to see more manufacturing jobs brought back to the United States, wants to expand Opportunity Zones, and wants states to reform occupational licensing to provide people with more opportunities to work.

Of expanding Opportunity Zones in Massachusetts’s Seventh Congressional District, she said, “We really need that. I want to lift everybody up. Instead of giving people handouts, I want to give people hand-ups.”

The Seventh Congressional District has a weird, mostly vertical shape on a map, with a bend in the middle — like a boomerang that shattered at one end and sprayed paint with its shards. It runs as far north as Somerville, Chelsea, and Everett north of Boston, as far south as Randolph south of Boston, and large sections of Boston in between.

The Massachusetts Legislature, which created it, calls it the “Minority-Majority District,” meaning most of the people who live in it are members of a racial minority — although whites are a larger group in it than any of the individual minority groups.

Campbell said she wants to stress the opportunity available in a free-enterprise system.  She said she would like to provide an alternative to Pressley’s faction of the Democratic Party where the proposed solution presented to most problems is bigger government.

“All of these women in my district, I know that if they could just get the opportunity to do something more, they would run with it,” she said. “But they are constantly told that ‘you can’t do it without our help.’ But sure you can. The library offers many free classes for anyone to get an education for free. That whole theory of them saying ‘you can’t do it’ is out the window.”

A Catholic and mother of three children, who works from home processing claims for geriatric long-term care insurance clients, Campbell said her background should help her be able to connect with a wide range of people in Massachusetts’s most ethnically diverse Congressional district.

“A lot of us are working women, working moms,” she said. “We’re hard workers in this community. It’s more unaffiliated with either party, so people vote with their heart. Being a Republican in Randolph, I feel good about it. We’re a Catholic community. Everyone wants to help each other out. I know that my community will be behind me.”

The Committee to Elect Ayanna Pressley and Pressley’s Congressional office could not be reached for comment.

More information on Campbell’s campaign can be found at www.facebook.com/RaylaForCongress.


Massachusetts Seventh Congressional District, courtesy of Wikipedia.


Massachusetts Seventh Congressional District — known a the ‘Minority-Majority District.’ Source: Massachusetts Legislature web site