According to the New York Times, Rep. Joe Kennedy is eyeing Ed Markey’s Senate seat. A recent mystery poll has been confirmed to have been paid for by the Kennedy team and shows Joe handedly beating Markey for the seat.
The political reasons for the run seem obvious to me. Kennedy is hedging his bets in case the Warren seat does not become available after the presidential campaign, or in case that primary becomes too crowded (Maura Healey and Ayanna Pressley are also looking to run). He did not and apparently does not want to run against the popular Charlie Baker for the governorship. He wisely stayed out of the 2020 presidential primary where the Kennedy name may have gotten him some extra initial attention, but he’d probably be languishing in obscurity with the other House based candidates who ran.
Ayanna Pressley and Seth Moulton showed us that the old way of waiting your turn is giving way to the new way of skipping the line via primary challenges. Something a young Ed Markey was famously unafraid to do as a maverick state rep and young Turk member of Congress.
Like Pressley/Capuano, this race will be about generational change and not ideology. Unlike that race, both of these candidates are Irish Catholics with long political pedigrees. Markey, who first entered Congress forty four years ago and Kennedy who’s father, grandfather, and great uncle all served in Congress or the Senate. The latter three eventually running for President.
Massachusetts voters will have a clear choice. Reward a man who has been a tireless advocate for climate action and consumer protection with six more years or elevate this generations Kennedy to the Senate where his family produced a president and substantial legislation.