Sen. Ed Markey is in a tight re-nomination battle with four-term Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Newton), but the incumbent received some much appreciated help yesterday from his climate change allies. The Senator has been a leader in environmental issues and causes for decades during his congressional service, and his work is being recognized. The Environment America Action Fund, whose supported independent expenditure PAC United for Massachusetts, announced they will spend over $900,000 on a broadcast and digital ad campaign to promote Sen. Markey. The Massachusetts primary is September 1st.
The Senate Democratic primary race between Massachusetts incumbent Ed Markey and Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Newton) is expected to be close at the polls and even appears to be down to the penny in the political money war. Both men are releasing their 2nd Quarter 2020 financial numbers, and each raised just over $1.9 million during the period. They both have almost the same amount of cash-on-hand, too. Sen. Markey reports $4.8 million in his campaign account versus Rep. Kennedy’s $4.7 million. The Massachusetts Democratic primary is September 1st.
For weeks it appeared that 2018 Massachusetts congressional candidate Dan Loh, who lost to now-Representative Lori Trahan (D-Lowell) by just 143 votes in the Democratic primary, was ready to launch another challenge. Three things had happened since the last election that suggested Mr. Loh was all in for another run, including him raising money and constructing a campaign operation. The other two happenings were Mr. Loh getting elected as a Selectman in the town of Andover, and Ms. Trahan coming under investigation for potential campaign finance violations.
Yet, it appears that the Congresswoman went from facing a strong primary opponent to having none at all. Candidate filing was finalized in Massachusetts on Friday and Mr. Loh decided not to enter the race, thus allowing Rep. Trahan to find herself without a Democratic opponent. Furthermore, she’s also unopposed in the general election.
On the heels of our report last week that the latest University of Massachusetts at Lowell survey finds US Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-Newton) leading Sen. Ed Markey (D) in a 44-42% virtual toss-up result, Emerson College (5/5-6; 740 MA registered voters; 620 MA likely Democratic primary voters) sees a much different political landscape. According to the Emerson data, Rep. Kennedy has a whopping 58-42% lead after voters were pushed to make a decision. The UMass Lowell poll is closer to the three others conducted in 2020, which yield a three-point average Kennedy advantage.
A new University of Massachusetts at Lowell poll was just released, and it finds Democratic Sen. Ed Markey and US Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-Newton) locked in a virtual tie. The results see Rep. Kennedy holding a slight 44-42% edge, a margin virtually unchanged from the university’s last poll (2/12-18) that projected Mr. Kennedy ahead 35-34 percent.
The fact that Rep. Kennedy, steeped in Kennedy family history so entrenched within the state, hasn’t pulled away in this race is a good sign for Sen. Markey, a Massachusetts politician who has been in elective office since his first term in the state legislature that began way back in 1973.
Early this week, Massachusetts Secretary of State Bill Galvin (D) informed the state legislature that the body must pass any bill changing the election procedure as it relates to conducting the September 1st primary election by mail no later than June 2nd. Mr. Galvin is under statutory authority to begin printing ballots and cannot wait any longer than this point in June. It is likely the state will adopt the all-mail format for the upcoming primary, but the members of the General Court will have to act quickly if the change is to be made.
The Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled in favor of plaintiffs arguing that the state’s ballot petition requirements are too high considering the COVID-19 precautions being in effect. The ruling greatly helps Sen. Ed Markey (D) because reports were indicating his campaign was lagging behind in even reaching the minimum number of 15,000 valid petition signatures. His Democratic primary opponent, Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-Newton), according to campaign spokespeople, has already submitted more than 30,000 signatures.
The new signature requirement assuredly means that the Senate primary will move forward and Sen. Markey will not be disqualified on a technicality.
Last week we reported that Sen. Ed Markey (D) had fallen behind in obtaining the 10,000 ballot petition signatures to qualify for the September 1st primary ballot. Others around the state are apparently finding themselves in a similar situation especially since the required number of petition signatures to access the ballot is unusually large. A new bill in the legislature would halve the requirement in response to the COVID-19 situation that keeps ground operation petition gathering signature efforts sidelined. It is likely that the bill will pass.
Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-Newton), Sen. Markey’s principal Democratic primary opponent, said last week that his campaign had already gathered more than 15,000 signatures, so he will clearly be on the ballot regardless of whether the minimum valid signature number is reduced.
Reports coming from Sen. Ed Markey’s Democratic primary against Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-Newton) find that the incumbent’s campaign is approximately 3,000 petition signatures from obtaining the minimum 10,000 in order to qualify for the ballot. With the Coronavirus making door to door approaches impossible, the Markey campaign has switched to making an online appeal and sending the proper forms through the mail to those who respond.
Rep. Kennedy’s campaign reports that they are well over the minimum amount required. The signature petition deadline is May 5th, so the Markey campaign still has time to qualify and its spokesman said the operation is confident they will meet the goal.
Massachusetts Democratic Party chairman Gus Bickford is recommending to the organization’s Executive Committee, according to WBUR News in Boston, that the May 30th state convention be cancelled as a COVID-19 virus precaution. The committee’s top business item was an endorsement vote in the US Senate Democratic primary between Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-Newton).
Mr. Bickford is telling the committee that the two campaigns have reached an agreement where Sen. Markey would be awarded the party endorsement based upon his strength at county conventions, while Rep. Kennedy would be given automatic ballot placement for the Senate race. Under party rules, a candidate must receive 15% of the state convention vote to attain a statewide ballot slot. The Executive Committee is meeting on Saturday to consider the Bickford proposal. The Massachusetts primary is scheduled for September 1st.
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