Sean D. Bielat (born May 14, 1975) is an American businessman and Major in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. In 2010, he was the Republican candidate for United States Congress in Massachusetts's 4th congressional district, losing to the incumbent, Democrat Barney Frank. Bielat ran for the seat again in 2012 against Joseph Kennedy III, but lost.
Bielat grew up in Rochester, New York, where he attended McQuaid Jesuit High School. He currently resides with his wife, son, and daughter in Carlisle, Massachusetts. Bielat works as an independent consultant. Previously, he held a position at Bedford, Massachusetts-based iRobot Corporation, where he directed their PackBot program, a $100 million defense robotics program.
Education and military service
He holds a bachelor's degree from Georgetown University, a Master of Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Bielat served as an active duty Marine Corps officer for four years and has served in the Marine Reserves for seven years, achieving the rank of Major.
Bielat believes in focusing on economic growth and fiscal responsibility, a strong national defense, and a return to Constitutional values and citizen-legislators. Bielat opposes the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, saying "I think that the health care bill that passed is very flawed," but adding that he is, however, in favor of some sort of health care reform. Bielat opposes emissions trading (sometimes referred to as cap-and-trade), and is in favor of extending the Bush tax cuts, the series of tax cuts that occurred during President George W. Bush's term in office.
In his candidate statement for his 2010 Congressional campaign, he criticized incumbent Barney Frank for being a "key player in America's financial collapse" and saying Frank "has promoted much of what caused the worst economic downturn in decades".
Massachusetts' 4th district is noted to lean Democratic, giving Barack Obama 63 percent of the vote in the 2008 Presidential Election and Massachusetts United States Senator John Kerry 65 percent of the vote in his 2004 Presidential Election. Some consider the MA-4 seat "solidly Democratic".
On September 17, 2010, Bielat defeated Norfolk businessman Earl Sholley in the district's Republican primary by more than 4000 votes, with a final vote tally of 60 percent to 40 percent.
In September, 2010, Bielat's campaign released internal poll numbers showing 48% of those polled favored Frank while 38% supported Bielat. The poll also noted that independent voters supported Bielat over Frank by the margin of 51% to 34%. Compared to a similar poll in July conducted by OnMessage, the firm hired by the Bielat campaign, Frank's overall support dropped by four points overall and by 10 percent of independent voters.
Bielat lost the election to incumbent Barney Frank, receiving 43.4% of the votes to Frank's 53.9%. It was Frank's closest finish since his first campaign for Congress in 1980.
On January 17, 2012 Bielat announced his intention to again run for the 4th district seat, stating "I will work once again to help bring true competition back to Massachusetts elections, and I am optimistic that voters will consider all alternatives rather than simply voting along party lines."
Bielat lost to Kennedy, receiving 36% of the vote to Kennedy's 61.1%.
Currently, Bielat is CEO of military robotics company Endeavor Robotics.
Bielat is a member of the St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Brookline and of the Catholic fraternal service organization, the Knights of Columbus. He and his wife, Hope, have a son, Theo, and a daughter, Seraphina.