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Alexandra Chandler announced today that she is a Democratic candidate for the seat that will be vacated when Niki Tsongas retires from the U.S. House of Representatives (MA-03) in 2018. Chandler, a Haverhill resident, is a former Intelligence Community division chief who worked for 12 years preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction from countries like North Korea and Iran, and targeting arms smuggling to war zones and terrorist groups.
Chandler announced her run for Congress in an announcement video on her website (http://alexandrachandler.com) and an email to her supporters.
“We all must answer the call and demand better economic security, better health and safety for our families and neighbors, and a better shared future for all Americans, as dangerous political extremes threaten our security from within,” Chandler said. “If we want better outcomes, we must have the courage to demand better from our leaders, and have the will to take personal responsibility for our collective good,” she added.
During the 9/11 attacks, Chandler’s wife was on a subway train under lower Manhattan when the Twin Towers fell. She spent hours not knowing if she had survived. That day, Chandler made the decision to join the Intelligence Community. In 2006, Chandler was the first employee of the Office of Naval Intelligence to transition while on the job as an analyst.
“As a transgender woman, I know something about courage. I’m running for Congress for my children, for all our children and all our communities, to prove that the courage to do what’s right will lead to better outcomes for all of us.” Chandler said in her announcement video and in an email to her supporters.
Chandler’s first priority as a member of Congress will be to build on Representative Niki Tsongas’s work to bring more jobs and higher pay to the 3rd District, in order to tackle both unemployment and underemployment. She will have the economic interests of working and middle class people front and center, not the tax loopholes of billionaires and corporations. Her other priorities will be better healthcare at a lower cost, on the way to universal health care and paid family leave for all. Noting her deceased father’s struggle with addiction and its impact on her family, she will also work for better addiction treatment to address the opioid epidemic. Her other campaign priorities include common-sense gun safety solutions, voting rights and civil liberties, and policies to combat climate change.
“I will stand against President Trump’s attacks on so many Americans,” Chandler said. “No more falling through the cracks, no more retreating from the progress we have made. I will stand up for opportunity, dignity and security for all.”
In addition to her work in the Intelligence Community, Chandler also has experience in community healthcare that she will leverage to fight for higher quality, lower cost healthcare for the citizens of the 3rd District and all Americans. For five years, she served on the board of Whitman Walker Health, a not-for-profit community health center that she helped save from the brink of bankruptcy. In roles including as Vice Chair, she supported its transformation into a sustainable organization serving 15,000 patients, and acclaimed for the high quality of its care for LGBT patients, those suffering with HIV/AIDS, and those struggling with drug addiction.
Chandler is also a member of the Truman National Security Project Defense Council, and a graduate of Brown University and Brooklyn Law School.
“Three generations of my family- my parents, my wife and our two sons, live together in Haverhill,” Chandler said. “I can’t afford to fail them, and I won’t fail you.”