Jacob Ventura, left, on the campaign trail in Massachusetts. Photo courtesy Jacob Ventura

Aquinnah Wampanoag citizen launches second bid in Massachusetts

After losing his first campaign by just a few hundred votes, a citizen of the Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe is launching his second bid for the Massachusetts Legislature.

Jacob J. Ventura, a Republican, calls himself a "proud" Wampanoag with Portuguese and Cape Verdean heritage. He's hoping to represent the Bristol and Norfolk district in the state Senate.

“I’m running for state Senator to ensure that all of our constituents have an advocate in the Senate that will represent their values," Ventura said as he kicked off his campaign in the town of Sharon on Saturday. "I am committed to helping build stronger communities, strengthening public safety, and being an advocate for good governance.”

Ventura, who is an attorney, ran for the same district last year. Despite being a newcomer, he easily won the Republican nomination for the seat, though he ended up losing a special election to Democrat Paul Feeney by fewer than 600 votes.

Feeney hasn't publicly said whether he will be seeking re-election. But Ventura is ready to compete.

“I look forward to meeting with people across the district over the coming weeks and months to listen to their thoughts about issues affecting them and their families," Ventura said.

Massachusetts is home to two federally recognized tribes, the Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe and the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe. Their homelands are in the same area of the Bristol and Norfolk district.

If Ventura prevails this November, he would be the first citizen of his tribe to win election to the Massachusetts Legislature.

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