Political News

Rep. Joe Kennedy to announce primary challenge to Sen. Ed Markey

Posted September 18, 2019 8:18 p.m. EDT

— Democratic Rep. Joe Kennedy of Massachusetts, the heir to his family's political dynasty, will announce a run for Senate on Saturday morning at the East Boston Social Center, challenging Democratic Sen. Ed Markey, who has served in Congress for more than 40 years, according to a source familiar.

In recent weeks, Kennedy, 38, has sought to draw a generational contrast with the 73-year-old Markey.

"Sen. Markey is a good man," Kennedy said in August. "I think I've got new ideas and a new approach and if I get into this race, that's what this race will be about."

Kennedy commands a lead in early polling, befitting a name that has won political races in Massachusetts for generations.

But in the past several weeks, Markey has lined up prominent Democratic endorsements, including fellow Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a presidential candidate, and much of the state's congressional delegation.

"I'm going to run on all the issues I've been fighting for today and into the future: climate change, income inequality, a woman's right to choose and on gun safety legislation," said Markey on Wednesday. "I am going to continue those fights into this campaign and I will do so every day that I'm out there crisscrossing the state of Massachusetts and fighting for the people of our state."

The race will divide Democrats not only in Massachusetts, but also in Washington.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York told CNN last week that he "fully" backs Markey and hopes Kennedy "gets out of the race."

On Wednesday, Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland said he was "disappointed" to see Kennedy enter the race. "I don't want to see these interparty fights, especially in this cycle where so much is out at stake," Cardin said.

Kennedy's impending announcement was first reported by WCVB, the Boston ABC affiliate.

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