From The Boston Phoenix via Blue Mass Group comes a story of Sean Bielat's history of congressional campaigns. Prior to his 2010 and 2012 runs as a Republican in the Massahusetts 4th CD, Sean helped out on a race for congress in 2004 in upstate New York, where his former Kennedy School classmate Samantha Barend was running in the Democratic primary for New York's 29th CD. Sean spent part of his youth in Rochester, NY, nearby the district.
Here's a quote from the BMG post:
Apparently, after actively supporting Barend early in the cycle, Bielat flirted with the idea of running against her in the Democratic primary. He instead moved to Chicago to work for McKinsey & Co. But heading into 2006 Bielat met with DCCC folks in Washington and bought a house in Canandaigua, N.Y., which is in the 29th District. His wife took a job in that area while Sean Bielat himself remained in Chicago. He did, however, register to vote in Canandaigua as a Democrat. Implausibly, his people now claim that was a “vestige” of his parents’ leanings during his childhood. As Bernstein points out, at the time Bielat was a 30-year old Kennedy School grad flirting for the second time with running for Congress.
Bielat abandoned his plans to run when the local Democratic Party structure supported Eric Massa (who was elected that year and, you may recall, has since resigned). He took a job with i-Robot, which led him to move to Massachusetts in mid-2006. In 2010, reinvented as a Republican, Bielat won the GOP nomination in the 4th District here and lost to Barney Frank. He then moved to Pennsylvania, but moved back here to run when Frank announced his retirement. For a guy who’s gone around accusing Joe Kennedy of being a carpetbagger, this guy’s got some chutzpah. Joe Kennedy was born and raised in the Boston area and lived here his whole life except college and the Peace Corps. Also, Bielat (and I) turned 31 in May 2006, when he first looked into running, meaning his assertion that the 32-year-old Joe Kennedy is too young for the job is purely hypocritical.
Sean describes himself as having drifted away from the Democratic Party over time - apparently, a very short time! He was certainly no naive child when he registered as a Democrat in upstate New York in 2005. From David Bernstein at the Phoenix:
Contrary to how he would later describe himself -- as someone who had long been drifting away from the Democratic Party -- these classmates describe him as an active and committed Democratic operative, who bragged of doing opposition research for Democratic candidates. And, they have little doubt that he wanted to run for office himself. "He told me that he was a little disappointed that Sam was running, because he was interested in running in the district himself," one says. This former classmate says that Bielat later parted ways with the Barend campaign, and in the spring of 2004 "he actually started telling people that he was going to run against [Barend] in the primary."
That idea did not get off the ground, and Bielat moved to Chicago to take a job with McKinsey and Company. However, soon after Barend lost to Republican Randy Kuhl in the November 2004 election, Bielat took serious steps toward running in the 2006 cycle. He went to Washington to speak with people connected with the DCCC, among others, about his intention to launch a campaign. This included a one-on-one meeting with Eric Massa, the eventual Democratic nominee, who was already raising money.
I'll be volunteering on election day to elect Joe Kennedy, a real representative for the people of the 4th CD. Please get out and vote, democracy only works when we all participate!