Sen. Ed Markey’s 44-year congressional career will continue for six more years as he defeated Rep. Joe Kennedy, the 39-year-old grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, in the Democratic primary race for U.S senate.
Markey harnessed the energy of the progressive left and used his work on the “Green New Deal,” along ith an endorsement from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, to develop a national profile over the past year.
It is a stunning defeat for Kennedy who chose to take on a sitting senator rather than wait for a spot in the Democratic hierarchy to open up.
Kennedy is the first member of his storied family to lose a race in Massachusetts.
Kennedy was favored to win when he entered the race a year ago, and many suspected Markey might retire to avoid an embarrassing loss.
But Kennedy became the underdog in the final weeks of the campaign.
Markey has held a seat in Congress since the mid-1970s.
And unlike other primary battles, it’s been Markey, the 74-year-old incumbent, who morphed into the favorite candidate of young liberals taking on the party establishment.
Markey was first elected to the U.S. Senate in a 2013 special election to fill out the remainder of John Kerry’s term in office after he became Secretary of State.
He was elected to a full term of his own in 2014.
Prior to serving in the Senate, Markey had been a Congressman representing Boston’s northern suburbs since 1976.
Markey is technically the state’s junior senator but he is also considered the “dean” of the state’s entire congressional delegation due to his many years in the House.
Kevin O’Connor, an attorney, defeated fellow Republican Shiva Ayyadurai in the Massachusetts GOP U.S. Senate primary.
The last time Massachusetts elected a Republican to the U.S. Senate was in 2010, when voters selected then-state Sen. Scott Brown in a special election to fill the remainder of Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy’s term after Kennedy died in 2009.
Scott was defeated two years later by Democrat Elizabeth Warren, who was re-elected in 2018.