Gary Rucinski, a software project manager from Newton, is launching a Democratic primary challenge against U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III.

Rucinski, 62, said he is running to make climate change a top priority as an issue.

He said Kennedy has shown leadership on issues such as health care, opiod addiction, and math and science education, but not climate change.

Progress on climate change has been too slow and the U.S., as the world’s largest economy, needs to lead the way, he said.

Rucinski said he is running in the primary to win, not just to make a point.

Signs of climate change can be seen in melting glaciers, rising sea levels and warmer temperatures, he said, and the problem has to be addressed.

“I’m running for Congress because America needs more legislators who will stake their careers on helping humanity avoid the worst effects of climate change,” Rucinski said.

The 4th Congressional District represented by Kennedy includes Attleboro, North Attleboro, Plainville, Wrentham, Norfolk, Foxboro, Mansfield, Norton, Rehoboth and Seekonk.

Jim Hand may be reached at 508-236-0399 or You can follow him on Twitter at @TSCpolitics.

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