What to Know
Barbara L’Italien’s involvement in politics started at her kitchen table over discussions about her first child, Rudy.
The Andover native is focused on so-called "kitchen table" issues like healthcare, education and transportation.
L’Italien has been criticized for promoting her work securing millions for Lowell, a city that is not in her senate district.
For Barbara L’Italien, running in Massachusetts' 3rd Congressional District race is about so-called “kitchen table” issues - like healthcare, education and transportation - which is why she brings her actual kitchen table out on the campaign trail.
"We are sitting at my first purchase when I was engaged to be married, my solid oak kitchen table,” she said while talking to NBC10 Boston.
L’Italien’s involvement in politics started at her kitchen table over discussions about her first child, Rudy, now 28, who is on the autism spectrum.
“I made it my mission to help create a school at McLean Hospital outpatient child psychiatry, for he and other kids that were struggling,” she said.
By 2003, the Andover native was a state representative eventually becoming vice chair of the powerful ways and means committee.
L’Italien says, “It was a real primer in the mechanics of how our state budget works.”
In 2004, L’Italien says she risked her seat to fight for gay marriage.
"I knew that this was a civil rights issue and took a very active role," she said.
The mother of four points to her record on Beacon Hill as the reason she is the best candidate for the job: "I can not only tell people what I might do down in Washington, I can show people what I’ve done.”
L’Italien has been criticized for promoting her work securing millions for Lowell, a city that is not in her senate district but is in the congressional district. She says she was only helping the city while it is without a state senator, adding, “I just made sure that there were opportunities that Lowell and that area would not go without.”
Decades of local activism give L’Italien name recognition that many of her opponents don’t have, but with 10 Democrats in the race, there is a sense that anything can happen on primary day.