Congressman Joe Kennedy first in his family to lose election in Massachusetts
The grandnephew of President John F. Kennedy and grandson of Robert F. Kennedy couldn’t keep the family winning streak alive in Massachusetts on Tuesday. Congressman Joe Kennedy III (D) fell short of unseating incumbent Sen. Ed Markey (D) becoming the first Kennedy to lose an election in Massachusetts.
Kennedy was hoping that the family name would be enough to give him a primary upset but he was overshadowed by new powerful names from the progressive movement that campaigned hard for Markey. Fellow Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) and New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D) both lent their star power to Markey.
“Congratulations @EdMarkey- yours is a victory for the progressive movement, for 21st century policy, and for the Green New Deal. THANK YOU to every single voter, supporter, organizer, grassroots donor, & everyday person who helped make this happen. This win belongs to you,” Oscasio-Cortez tweeted.
In his concession speech, Kennedy called Markey a good man who he would stand behind in the general election.
“A few moments ago, I called Sen. Markey to congratulate him and to pledge my support to him and his campaign in the months ahead.,” Kennedy said. “The senator is a good man. You have never heard me say otherwise. It was difficult at times between us. Good elections often get heated.”
Kennedy’s campaign focused on a “new” generation of progressive leadership but his attempts to paint Markey as out of touch and highlighting his support for the 1994 crime bill and Iraq war just didn’t sway enough young voters. Kennedy was also endorsed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi who has a far lower approval rating in the state than Warren and Ocasio-Cortez.
Warren also congratulated Markey on Twitter but she also took a moment to praise Kennedy and his future.
“You ran a strong campaign that inspired many, @JoeKennedy. I know your righteous fights are far from over,” she tweeted.
Markey has never lost an election himself during nearly his half-century of leadership in Washington, D.C. He is heavily favored to win the general election in November in the very blue state.
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