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Joe Kennedy’s Massachusetts Defeat Ends a 50-Year Kennedy Family Tradition: Is This the Sign of a New Beginning?

Joe Kennedy’s Massachusetts Defeat Ends a 50-Year Kennedy Family Tradition: Is This the Sign of a New Beginning?

Boston –  The Kennedy family has never before lost an election in Massachusetts —  until today’s defeat of Joe Kennedy III to the winner, Ed Markey. For the first time in 50 years, there will be no Kennedys in elected office. 

Winning the campaign as a Far Left progressive, Markey paid tribute to his own family roots as the son of a milkman. In his victory speech, Markey said “We made it clear that we’d rather lose fighting as hard as we could for what we believe in than in finding the middle ground…The progressive movement knows how to fight. We will not surrender.” 

The 39-year-old Joe Kennedy led in the polls initially, focusing his current campaign on social and economic change while offering a generational change to the 74-year-old Markey. 

Markey has served in Congress for about forty years. 

During the campaign, Kennedy was criticized for his political ambition. Although both Democrats found common ground on many policies, Markey proved himself to be more cutting-edge as an advocate for liberal causes with his co-authorship of “The Green New Deal,” and his support for “Medicare for All.”

Suggesting that Kennedy was “a legislative lightweight” during the campaign, Markey claimed intellectual heavyweight status as an author of hundreds of laws. Markey wrote legislation on keeping the Internet affordable to schools and libraries, raising fuel economy standards for automobiles, and raising billions of dollars for Alzheimer’s research.

Joe Kennedy cited the coronavirus pandemic as a key hindrance to his ability to connect with people in person  — a challenge that proved to be a major disadvantage in Kennedy’s campaign. Wearing a mask, Kennedy toured throughout Massachusetts, picking up the endorsement of the Democratic House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, along the campaign trail.  

In the end, Kennedy’s campaign portrayed him as someone who has grappled with the Kennedy family legacy in politics. Joe Kennedy clearly felt the pressure of his connection with his great-uncle, former President John F. Kennedy, former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, Joe Kennedy’s grandfather, and former Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy, another great-uncle.

Ed Markey rode to victory leading 56 percent to 44 percent with 79 percent of precincts reporting. He had the support of young progressive activists. With this victory, Markey solidifies his base among White liberals. Approximately one million ballots were cast before Election Day in Massachusetts.

In his statement to the public, Kennedy tried to sound upbeat. “No matter the results tonight, I would do this again with all of you in a heartbeat. We built a campaign for the people that our politics often locks out and leaves behind.” A collective amount of over $22,000,000 was spent on the campaigns based on reports sent to the Federal Election Commission.

At the end of the day, the Malden native Ed Markey said to the Boston Globe, “had achieved a singular feat: He beat a Kennedy in Massachusetts.” 

Image Credit: Boston Globe/Getty Images


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Afia is a lawyer, journalist, an avid traveler, an avid reader, a foodie, and an amateur singer. She enjoys instrumental music with her glass of wine ?

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