Tierney, 61, spent 16 years in Congress and has been credited for his work on education and veterans issues. He helped write several bills aimed at making college more affordable. He voted against the invasion of Iraq in 2002 and led an investigation of subpar conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Tierney had the support of the state’s Democratic establishment, including Gov. Deval Patrick, who came to Salem on Monday to support him. He also had the backing of the mayors in Beverly, Salem, Peabody, Amesbury and Newburyport.