Former Republican state senator Dean Tran will run for Congress
Ex-Fitchburg lawmaker, who faced ethics issues in the Senate, is challenging Rep. Lori Trahan
FORMER REPUBLICAN state senator Dean Tran of Fitchburg is running for Congress against incumbent Democratic Rep. Lori Trahan.
Tran, whose ethical issues marred his tenure in the Senate before he lost a bid for reelection in 2020, sent an email to supporters Thursday announcing that he will launch his congressional campaign with a kick-off event and fundraiser at the British American Club in Fitchburg on Wednesday, February 2.
“Early energy around this campaign will make a statement that puts the Democratic establishment on notice that it’s time for a change,” Tran wrote in his campaign announcement. “If you believe in FREEDOM and PROSPERITY for all Americans, please join me for our kick-off!”
In the email, Tran focused on his history as the first minority elected to the Fitchburg City Council, the first Vietnamese American elected to the state Legislature, and the first Republican in 25 years to hold the state Senate seat from the Worcester and Middlesex District.
Tran could not be reached Friday morning.
Francis Grubar, a spokesperson for Trahan, said in a statement, “Congresswoman Trahan is solely focused on delivering for hardworking families in every city and town across the Third District. She looks forward to making the case for why she should be rehired to continue that work. The last thing families need is a representative focused on joining Kevin McCarthy, Jim Jordan, and Marjorie Taylor Greene to block commonsense legislation that improves the lives of every Americans.”
Tran was elected to the state House in a 2016 special election, and to the state Senate in a 2017 special election. He won reelection in 2018, but lost the seat to Democrat John Cronin in 2020.
Tran is from a family that fled Vietnam and emigrated to the US when Tran was a child. He graduated from Fitchburg High School and Brandeis University. He was elected to the Fitchburg City Council in 2005. As a senator, he focused on a message of fiscal conservatism and low taxes.
Tran opened a campaign committee with the Federal Election Commission in December to explore a congressional run. On his campaign website, he lists as his priorities border security, including increasing legal immigration while cracking down on illegal immigrants; directing more federal money to maintaining infrastructure before considering expansions; ending wasteful spending; opening up more energy production to drive down prices; supporting law enforcement agencies; and opposing vaccine mandates that target front-line workers.
In March of 2020, the Senate stripped Tran of his leadership positions and ordered him physically separated from his staff after the Senate Ethics Committee found that Tran improperly used Senate staffers and public resources for his reelection campaign. Tran disputed the Ethics Committee’s report.The Ethics Committee also referred another allegation to the Office of Campaign and Political Finance. A spokesperson for OCPF said Friday that there have been no resolutions or actions concerning Tran.
Trahan, who was first elected to Congress in 2018, had her own bout with the US House Ethics Committee, which cleared her of wrongdoing related to allegations that she borrowed hundreds of thousands of dollars of her husband’s money for her campaign, then covered it up to avoid campaign finance donation limits. The committee found that she and her husband had joint ownership of the money, so she was entitled to spend it.