Joseph Kennedy III Said to Be Eying Edward Markey’s Massachusetts Senate Seat
WASHINGTON — Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III of Massachusetts is considering a primary challenge next year against Senator Edward J. Markey, according to a senior Democratic official. Such a race could substantially alter the state’s political landscape and has the potential to elevate a fourth member of a Democratic dynasty to the Senate.
Mr. Kennedy, the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, had publicly indicated that he intended to run for re-election next year. But in a conversation this week with the Democratic official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the private deliberations, Mr. Kennedy, 38, said that he was weighing a campaign against Mr. Markey, 73, and would decide in the coming weeks.
A contest between the two Massachusetts lawmakers could become the nation’s most high-profile primary race and would represent another test of the Democratic Party’s old guard. And while Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Markey are both committed progressives, the race would amount to a generational showdown between a scion of the state’s most famous family and a more than four-decade-long fixture of Massachusetts politics.
Speculation about Mr. Kennedy’s interest in the race began last month when a poll testing the four-term congressman’s prospects against the senator was reported by Politico. Mr. Kennedy’s aides would not deny that they had commissioned the poll, and on Friday, a Democratic official confirmed that Mr. Kennedy had paid for the survey.
The poll, which even Mr. Markey’s advisers acknowledged would most likely show the popular Mr. Kennedy leading, was followed by the creation of a group — Jump in, Joe! — aimed at drafting the congressman into the Senate race.
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New York Times
Common Wealth Mag
Kennedy holds 17-point lead over Markey in poll
MORE THAN A YEAR out from the 2020 US Senate primary, Massachusetts Democratic voters strongly favor Congressman Joe Kennedy over Sen. Ed Markey, according to an online poll conducted last weekend.
When respondents were pressed to make a choice, Kennedy garnered 42 percent support compared to Markey’s 25 percent. Businessman Steve Pemberton earned 7 percent and attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan got 5 percent. Without leaners, Kennedy’s 17-point lead is slightly diminished, as 31 percent of respondents said they would back Kennedy compared to 19 percent supporting Markey.
The survey obtained by CommonWealth was conducted by Change Research, a San Francisco area firm that has worked on behalf of Democratic candidates and causes as well as the NAACP and the AFL-CIO, according to its website. The poll was commissioned by Education Reform Now Advocacy, which tacked the horse race and other political questions onto a bigger poll gauging voters’ temperature about education policy issues. ...
Run from August 23-25, the poll of 1,008 registered Massachusetts voters captured their feelings about the burgeoning US Senate race about a week after news broke that Kennedy might challenge Markey in the primary, but just before Kennedy publicly confirmed those news stories with a Facebook post on Monday. A total of 808 respondents weighed in on the Democratic primary.
New York Times
Joe Kennedy to Announce Bid for U.S. Senate
The Massachusetts congressman will officially announce on Saturday his plans to challenge the incumbent Senator Edward Markey
WASHINGTON — Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III of Massachusetts plans to announce on Saturday that he is challenging Senator Ed Markey for the Democratic Senate nomination in their state, setting up a titanic generational clash next year between an heir to the state’s foremost political dynasty and the longest-serving member of its congressional delegation.
Mr. Kennedy informed Mr. Markey of his plans today, according to a Democrat familiar with their discussion who spoke on the condition of anonymity to relate a private conversation. Mr. Kennedy, the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, will announce his candidacy in a modest, East Boston neighborhood before embarking on a statewide tour.
The contest will almost certainly be the country’s most high-profile Senate primary and could offer clues for just how eager Trump-era Democrats are to replace more incumbent lawmakers. But unlike with some of the Tea Party-era Republican races between ideological foes, Mr. Kennedy, 38, and Mr. Markey, 73, are both reliable progressives and each is claiming support from liberal leaders and organizations.
Initial polling indicates that Mr. Kennedy would begin the contest as the front-runner. And some Massachusetts Democrats — uneasy about the prospect of a fractious, yearlong primary contest — had hoped that Mr. Markey would take a hint and bow out after word of Mr. Kennedy’s interest in the seat first leaked last month.
But Mr. Markey, who was first elected to the House in 1976, made clear again Wednesday that he intends to run for re-election.