Around New England

Draft-Kennedy Movement Pushing Joe III To Take On Ed Markey for U.S. Senate

August 14, 2019

A movement to draft U.S. Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III to run for Ed Markey’s U.S. Senate seat has put together a web site and Facebook page.

Kennedy (D-Newton) so far says he’s running in 2020 for re-election to the Fourth Congressional District, not for Markey’s seat.

The Sun Chronicle of Attleboro reported this week that someone recently sponsored a statewide poll pitting Kennedy against Markey for U.S. Senate, though the story did not report the results and said it’s unclear who paid for the poll.

The draft-Kennedy web site (https://www.readyforjk3.com) is attributed to “grassroots supporters of Congressman Kennedy” named “Jamie, Junior, Val, Kim, and Barbara,” with no last names.

The movement also has a draft-Kennedy Facebook page.

One of the posters identifies herself as Barbara Kay, whose Facebook page includes multiple rainbow flags and messages supporting Planned Parenthood and opposing guns.

Markey, 73, has already drawn two challengers in the Democratic primary. Markey is considered vulnerable because of his long tenure in Congress and identification with the Democratic establishment.

“He fits the profile of some senior Democrats who have recently lost their seats to younger challengers from their own party,” The Sun Chronicle noted Tuesday, August 13, “although Kennedy is better known and more experienced than those successful newcomers.”

Kennedy, 38, won his current seat in 2012 after Barney Frank retired.

Kennedy is the son of former U.S. Representative Joseph P. Kennedy II, the grandson of former U.S. Attorney General and 1968 presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, and the great-grandson of Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., the multimillionaire who launched his family as a national political force primarily through his son John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States.

Kennedy has been the subject of intense speculation about his future, to the point where he issued statements earlier this year saying he wouldn’t run in 2020 either for president or U.S. Senate.

The Fourth Congressional District of Massachusetts looks a bit like West Virginia, stretching from south from Newton and Brookline in the northeast and Hopkinton in the northwest all the way down to Somerset and parts of Fall River in the south. Needham, Milford, Franklin and Attleboro are also all in the district. Kennedy is a shoo-in to win re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives, if he runs.

Kennedy is an outspoken liberal Democrat whose positions on issues don’t differ much from Markey’s – the draft-Kennedy web site mentions issues like abortion, climate change, gun control, transgenderism, and immigration, all topics the two basically agree on. But Kennedy would bring a higher profile to the seat because of his name and his youth.

For now, Markey’s Democratic declared opponents remains Shannon Liss-Riordan, a labor lawyer who last week called for repealing the Second Amendment, and New Bedford businessman Steve Pemberton.

Former New Bedford mayor Scott Lang has also expressed interest in running.

No Republicans have announced plans to take on Markey in 2020.

Shiva Ayyadurai, who ran as an independent against U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren in November 2018, is again running as an independent against Markey in 2020. His video announcement includes “The Gael” as background music.

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