Author and businessman Steve Pemberton, who announced his US Senate candidacy back in July, has withdrawn from the Bay State race, citing a “rigged political system.” Mr. Pemberton on leaving the contest said that he, “ran into an impenetrable wall of legacy and birthright — of incumbency and connections” thus denying him the ability to construct a viable campaign.
Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-Newton) entering the race to challenge incumbent Sen. Ed Markey in the Democratic primary makes this campaign very difficult for any other candidate. Attorney Sharon Liss-Riordan remains, but it is already clear that she will continue as a minor candidate.
The Massachusetts primary is not scheduled until September 15th, so what appears to be evolving into a Markey-Kennedy race will develop over a long campaign cycle. Early polling suggests that Rep. Kennedy has a strong chance of denying Sen. Markey re-nomination, but the long-serving Representative and Senator is sending signals that he will wage an aggressive campaign to keep his position.
Saying that, “…the outdated structures and old rules, the everyday oppressions and injustices that hold our people back,” Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-Newton) officially announced his Senatorial candidacy for Democratic nomination, meaning a direct challenge to Sen. Ed Markey. The move sets up a year-long campaign, as the Massachusetts state primary won’t be held until September 15, 2020. Sen. Markey responded quickly, announcing an endorsement from Rep. Alexandria Ocascio-Cortez (D-NY) and challenging Kennedy and his two other opponents to a climate change debate in the “near future.”
Mr. Kennedy’s move means the 4th Congressional District will be open and leaves what will be a highly competitive Democratic primary in his wake. There are now 21 open seats for the 2020 election cycle, just five of which the majority Democrats hold.
The Associated Press is running with a story that indicates Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-Newton) will announce his Senatorial campaign Democratic primary challenge to Sen. Ed Markey tomorrow. There has been much speculation about such an impending race, and now the predicted move looks to have legs. Rep. Kennedy recently said he would decide in a few weeks, but apparently the timetable has accelerated. Sen. Markey, who has been in Congress since 1977, shows no signs of retiring. This campaign has a long election cycle. The Massachusetts state primary is not until September 15, 2020.
There has been much speculation that four-term Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-Newton) will challenge Sen. Ed Markey in next year’s September Democratic primary, and the former man isn’t denying that he is considering running.
Virtually every day now, we see moves suggesting that the presumed race is becoming a reality. Yesterday, state Treasurer Deb Goldberg (D) announced that she will run in the 4th District Democratic congressional primary, a contest that she believes will be open. With potential candidates reading the political tea leaves as predicting that Kennedy will run statewide, we can anticipate seeing more movement in the local district from potential contenders hoping to get the jump in what would be an open and determinative primary election to decide who will next serve in the House.
A new Suffolk University poll (9/3-5; 500 MA likely Democratic primary voters) confirms what we saw in last week’s released Change Research survey (8/23-25; 808 MA likely Democratic primary voters) that found Sen. Ed Markey badly trailing Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-Newton) in next year’s Senate Democratic primary, 42-25%.
According to the Suffolk results, Rep. Kennedy opens with a 35-26% lead over Sen. Markey with the other candidates way below the double-digit mark. If Markey and Kennedy were to square-off by themselves, Suffolk projects Mr. Kennedy’s lead would expand to 42-28%, this despite both men having strong favorability index ratios. Mr. Kennedy has not committed to making the race but has said he is considering entering the contest.
The Massachusetts Senate Democratic primary could soon see even more action. In addition to Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-Newton) potentially challenging Sen. Ed Markey (D), another House member is also raising eyebrows with recent comments.
Freshman Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Boston), who denied then-Rep. Mike Capuano (D-Somerville) re-nomination in the 2018 Democratic primary, hasn’t ruled out entering next year’s Senate race. When asked whether she would become a candidate, Rep. Pressley was non-committal, but cryptically said, “I just follow the work. Wherever the work takes me, that’s where I go.”
The Change Research polling organization tested Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-Newton) in a hypothetical primary challenge to Sen. Ed Markey (D), and the incumbent starts out well behind. According to Change (8/23-25; 1,088 MA registered voters; 808 Democratic primary voters; online), Rep. Kennedy would lead Sen. Markey 42-25% if the September 15, 2020 Democratic primary were today. Mr. Kennedy has now admitted to considering the race and has filed a Senate committee with the Federal Election Commission. With such a long primary season, the candidate filing deadline isn’t until May 5th, so much time remains for all potential contenders to make decisions.
Massachusetts Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-Newton) for the first time publicly admitted to considering challenging Sen. Ed Markey in next year’s Democratic primary. In a written message, Rep. Kennedy continues to say he has not yet made a decision, but also wrote that, “…I’m not sure this is a moment for waiting. Our system has been letting down a lot of people for a long time, and we can’t fix it if we don’t challenge it.”
He has taken direct action, however. Mr. Kennedy has filed a Senate campaign committee with the Federal Election Commission, meaning he will have a vehicle to transfer money from his House committee if he decides to run. The Congressman has $4.2 million in his House campaign account and could transfer all of it to the new Senate committee. The amount is virtually the same as Sen. Markey reported as his cash-on-hand figure at the end of June ($4.05 million). The Massachusetts primary is not until September 15, 2020, so this campaign has a long cycle.
US Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), who failed to qualify for any of the national debates and never made a ripple in the presidential campaign, became the fourth national candidate to formally withdraw. Following the lead of previously departed presidential candidates Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), ex-Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Rep. Moulton is likely to immediately move into another campaign.
It is believed he will return to seek re-election to his northeastern Massachusetts congressional district. If so, he will likely face three credible Democratic primary challengers including Salem City Councilwoman Lisa Peterson. But, with the Massachusetts congressional primary not until September 15th of next year, Rep. Moulton has plenty of time to recover from his failed presidential effort.
Two Democrats, attorney and activist Shannon Liss-Riordan and best-selling author and business executive Steve Pemberton, have already announced their Democratic primary challenges to Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey but another more famous potential candidate may be waiting in the wings.
It has been speculated for several months that four-term Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-Newton), the grandson of the late Robert F. Kennedy, would attempt to deny Sen. Markey re-nomination in next year’s September 15th primary but, up until just this past Friday, the Congressman had denied that he was going to run. Now reports are surfacing that Mr. Kennedy is in fact telling confidants that he is considering challenging the Senator, who has served in Congress continually since the beginning of 1977. Much time remains before the candidate filing deadline is upon us, since the final declaration day isn’t until May 9th.
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