AP source: Joe Kennedy to challenge Sen. Markey in primary

AP

Print Article

  • FILE - In this June 26, 2018, file photo, Rep. Joe Kennedy, D-Mass., speaks in front of the Supreme Court in Washington.(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

  • 1

    Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., chairman of the Senate Climate Change Task Force, joined at left by Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and indigenous people of the Americas, at a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • 2

    U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III, speaks on a panel on race and politics, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, in Springfield, Mass. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

  • 3

    U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III, left, listens as Framingham Mayor Yvonne Spicer, right, speaks on a panel on race and politics, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, in Springfield, Mass. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

  • FILE - In this June 26, 2018, file photo, Rep. Joe Kennedy, D-Mass., speaks in front of the Supreme Court in Washington.(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

  • 1

    Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., chairman of the Senate Climate Change Task Force, joined at left by Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and indigenous people of the Americas, at a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • 2

    U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III, speaks on a panel on race and politics, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, in Springfield, Mass. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

  • 3

    U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III, left, listens as Framingham Mayor Yvonne Spicer, right, speaks on a panel on race and politics, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, in Springfield, Mass. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

BOSTON (AP) Massachusetts U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III, a scion of one of America's most storied political families, is set to announce he will challenge U.S. Sen. Edward Markey in the state's Democratic primary in 2020.

A person with knowledge of Kennedy's plans told The Associated Press that Kennedy will formally make the announcement Saturday. The person wasn't authorized to preempt Kennedy's announcement and spoke Wednesday on the condition of anonymity.

The 38-year-old grandson of Robert F. Kennedy has been quietly laying down the foundation of a run, building up his staff and formally announcing his interest in the race by filing preliminary paperwork with the Federal Election Commission last month.

"I don't think primaries are something that people should shy away from," Kennedy told reporters at the state Democratic convention last Saturday. "The idea behind it is that every seat, my own included, the one that I currently occupy as a member of the House of Representatives, it's up every two years. It's a two-year term. You have to go out and make that case to voters every two years."

Kennedy has shied away from directly criticizing Markey, calling him "a good man."

Markey, who's already facing two lesser-known challengers, has said he's ready to take on anyone, even Kennedy.

"I run every day on the issues that I've been fighting for throughout my career and that I'm continuing to fight for right now on the floor of the Senate," the 73-year-old Markey said at the same convention. "That's women's reproductive rights, climate change, gun safety laws, income inequality and I'm going to continue to campaign on those issues. It's been the core of my agenda."

Kennedy is the latest in a long line of members of America's most celebrated political clan to seek elected office most famously his granduncle President John F. Kennedy, felled by an assassin's bullet in 1963.

Others include his father, former U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy; his grandfather RFK, who was JFK's attorney general and was a senator running for the Democratic presidential nomination when he was slain in 1968; his granduncle Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who died in 2009; former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy II, a son of Edward Kennedy; and his aunt Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, who served two terms as Maryland's lieutenant governor.

A senior campaign adviser to Markey said in a statement Wednesday that the incumbent is up for the political battles ahead.

"Elections are about choices, and Ed looks forward to spending the next 14 months campaigning hard every day to show the people of the Commonwealth why he's the right choice," said John Walsh, a longtime political Democratic operative in Massachusetts.

Given his political pedigree, Kennedy has been seen as a rising star in the party. In 2018, Kennedy was tapped to deliver the Democratic response to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address.

A Kennedy-Markey contest will put more than a few high-profile Democrats in an awkward position, most notably White House hopeful Elizabeth Warren.

Warren has worked with Markey in the Senate and taught Kennedy at Harvard Law School. She formally endorsed Markey before Kennedy floated the idea of a challenge to Markey.

"I endorsed Sen. Markey back in February. I couldn't ask for a better partner in the Senate than Ed Markey. He is a good friend," Warren said. "Joe Kennedy is also a good friend. I have worked with him since he was a student of mine; both he and his wife were my students. I have worked with him as a congressman. I have nothing but the highest respect for him. And I have no criticism."

Kennedy has tried to position himself as more of a pragmatist than those on the left of his party.

Although he's adopted many of the causes driving the party's liberal wing Kennedy has called for Congress to initiate impeachment efforts against Trump and has backed a "Medicare for All" bill in the House he's also tried to carve out his own path.

In January 2017, as many Democrats were still reeling from Trump's win, Kennedy, first elected to Congress in 2012, suggested that party leaders should be listening better to the economic worries of Democratic voters who bolted the party for Trump, saying that not taking the time to understand those voters would be folly.

He also argued that Democrats, then in the minority in the House, had to try to cut the best deals they could with Republicans.

"You've got to fight, but you've got to also try to move an agenda forward," he said at the time. "If you're just out there screaming and yelling, there are people out there who need help and need help now and they deserve progress, too."

Kennedy also has spoken frequently about what he calls "moral capitalism," a less politically fraught term than "socialism" but one that has become central to his political worldview in the Trump era.

Markey is a formable opponent. He served for decades in the House before joining the Senate in 2013.

Markey has been quick to point out his endorsement by Democratic U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. The two have worked to push for the Green New Deal initiative.

"The Green New Deal will be the greatest force for blue-collar job creation in a generation," Markey has said.

Markey also has called for the House to begin an impeachment inquiry into Trump.

Kennedy and Markey have worked together at times.

Earlier this year the two reintroduced a bill that would end the use in federal court of "gay panic" and "trans panic" defenses, which argue that the revelation of a person's sexual orientation or gender identity helped provoke a defendant's violent reaction.

Markey already is facing two lesser-known candidates: Shannon Liss-Riordan, a workers' rights lawyer, and Steve Pemberton, a former senior executive at Walgreens.

The contest could be expensive.

Markey reported having more than $4 million in his campaign account as of June 30. Kennedy reported having $4.2 million in his House campaign account as of the same period.

___

This story has been corrected to show that John F. Kennedy and Edward M. Kennedy were Joe Kennedy III's granduncles, not uncles.

  

Print Article

Read More Political

The Latest: Trump imagines easier 2020 win by popular vote

AP

October 17, 2019 at 7:24 pm | DALLAS (AP) The Latest on President Donald Trump's trip to Texas (all times local): 10:15 p.m. President Donald Trump, who lost the popular vote in 2016 by nearly 3 million votes, claims it...

Comments

Read More

Jury seated in opioid case, but settlement talks go on

AP

October 17, 2019 at 10:43 am | CLEVELAND (AP) A jury was seated Thursday for the first federal trial on the opioid crisis, but the push to settle the case before opening arguments next week continued, with company officials expe...

Comments

Read More

Warren, candidate with the answers, dodges tax hike question

AP

October 16, 2019 at 6:31 pm | WASHINGTON (AP) Elizabeth Warren is rising to the top of the Democratic pack with ambitious promises to reshape the political and economic system. But as she faces growing scrutiny, the Massachuset...

Comments

Read More

Opioid settlement talks broaden ahead of 1st federal trial

AP

October 16, 2019 at 6:40 pm | CLEVELAND (AP) Efforts to settle thousands of lawsuits related to the nation's opioid epidemic intensified Wednesday ahead of the scheduled start of arguments in the first federal trial over the cr...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 664-8176
215 N. Second St
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814

©2019 The Coeur d'Alene Press Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X