BOSTON — The three newest members of Massachusetts' all-Democratic congressional delegation are turning out to be three of its most prolific fundraisers.
During the first nine months of the year, U.S. Reps. Seth Moulton, Joe Kennedy and Katherine Clark each raised more than much longer-serving members of the delegation, with Moulton boasting the biggest haul: more than $1 million, according to an Associated Press review of campaign finance records.
All three — along with Attorney General Maura Healey — are seen as some of the party's brightest political lights as Democrats look for possible candidates for higher statewide office — whether for governor or as future successors to U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey, also both Democrats.
"One of the biggest advantages Democrats have in Massachusetts is that we have a deep talent pool," said former state party chairman John Walsh. "What we've seen here is the three youngest members are really stepping forward on key issues."
Of the three, Moulton has been enjoying an extra dose of political buzz after he locked horns — via Twitter — with the state's most popular political figure, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, over whether Massachusetts should accept refugees from Syria.
After Baker expressed opposition to welcoming the refugees without more information about the vetting process, Moulton — a former U.S. Marine who served in Iraq — tweeted that it was a disappointment that Baker "doesn't know the difference between refugees and those from whom they need refuge."
Baker shot back, suggesting Moulton was resorting to "partisan talking points."
Moulton's comments drew attention in part because other top Massachusetts Democrats have been more reluctant to spar with Baker. A recent Suffolk University poll pegged Baker's favorability rating at 70 percent, ahead even of Warren, who remains a hero to the liberal wing of the Democratic party. Her favorability stood at 54 percent.
Moulton, who ousted incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. John Tierney last year to represent the state's 6th Congressional District, is quickly replenishing his campaign bank account.
Nearly one out of every four dollars he raised in the first nine months of the year, about $250,000, came from political action committees. During his campaign last year, Moulton took in just 11 percent from PACs. Moulton had about $692,000 in his account as of the end of September.
Kennedy, first sworn into office in January 2013, has also been busy building up his campaign account.
While he benefits from being an heir to the state's most famous political name, he's also worked to establish his own record.
Most recently, Kennedy trekked to the Massachusetts Statehouse in October to testify in favor of a bill that would extend non-discrimination protections to transgender people in restaurants, schools or other places of public accommodation. He later wrote a letter to legislative leaders pressing them to pass the bill before the end of the year. The bill is still pending.
Kennedy, who represents the state's 4th Congressional District, pulled in about $980,000 during the first nine months of the year — 32 percent from PACs. He ended September with nearly $1.8 million in his account.
Clark, one of just two women in the nine-member U.S. House delegation, won a special election in 2013 to fill the 5th Congressional District seat left vacant by Markey's election to the Senate.
She recently helped push a bill through Congress to help newborns suffering from exposure to opioids. The bill instructs the Department of Health and Human Services to come up with the best approach for diagnosing and treating the syndrome.
Clark raised more than $511,000 during the first nine months of the year, 37 percent from PACs. She had about $515,000 left in her account at the end of September.
Clark and Kennedy have also been outspoken supporters of Hillary Rodham Clinton, traveling to New Hampshire to campaign for her. Moulton recently endorsed Clinton.