Joseph Kennedy III is running for the Fourth District and stopped by in Mansfield on Saturday.
Mansfield Democratic Town Committee 2nd Vice Chair Joseph Kaplan invited Kennedy to his residence in the apartment buildings at 150 Rumford Avenue.
"I'm just honored and thrilled," Kaplan said.
Kennedy took about a half hour to talk with everyone in the small but crowded room. Constituents and followers offered their support to the new candidate.
“I think that the fourth district actually has a tremendous opportunity,” Kennedy said. “You’ve got companies [here] that are willing to make the investment in the area. I want to help build and generate [jobs] for the region. I think that’s one big area I’d like to try to administrate in the region.”
Kennedy said he really enjoyed the intimate setting rather than some of his previous events, such as the announcement of his campaign.
“[There’s] a pretty substantial press crew following us around and it was a little tense,” he said. “There were these poor people trying to have their breakfast and they got swarmed by all this press. One of the press guys was showing me where we were going to have this press gaggle… and I turn a corner and my back was against the wall and I was in a corner… You guys are a lot more friendly.”
Kennedy related a story from when he worked as an assistant district attorney in the Middlesex County District under D.A. Gerry Leone in which he was approached by the parents of a recently returned American serviceman.
He said he was prosecuting a case against the serviceman and was late for the case when the veteran’s parents approached him.
“I [said], I’m the prosecutor, I’m the bad guy, talk to the good guy right over there,” he said.
Kennedy said that the parents actually wanted him to hold their son without bail.
“That’s not the typical response,” he said.
The parents told the then assistant D.A. that their son was stationed in Iraq and became addicted to oxycontin while there. He had apparently stolen every bit of jewelry from his family. The father told Kennedy that the son wasn’t sure what would do if he was let out that evening. The father had obtained a bed at a treatment facility for his son for that Monday morning, and they wanted him to be in jail for the weekend so they could make sure that he went. The judge put him in jail for the weekend at his own request.
“You can’t tell me we’re doing all we can for that vet,” Kennedy said. “And that is what I believe this election is about… We are in complex times and there are counterarguements to everything, the world is shades of gray. But in every single time where we’ve been tested before, we’ve come back. It’s a promise that’s been made and kept by one generation of Americans and passed on to the next. The question is, are we willing to do what it takes now to make good on that promise.”