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Tuesday, 1 September 2020

The end of a dynasty: RFK's grandson Joe Kennedy III becomes the first member of his family to lose a Massachusetts election as he is defeated in Senate primary in JFK's old seat

Joe Kennedy III on Tuesday failed in his bid to take the Senate seat held by JFK, becoming the first member of his family to lose in Massachusetts. 
The 39-year-old grandson of Robert F. Kennedy lost to incumbent Sen. Ed Markey, 74, who has been in the Senate since 2013.   
Kennedy said Tuesday night that the results aren't the ones he'd hoped for, but pledged to work for Markey's reelection.
'The senator is a good man. You never heard me say otherwise,' Kennedy told supporters at an outdoor rally. 
Kennedy also suggested that the movement of supporters the campaign pulled together would continue past the current election.
'We may have lost the final vote count tonight but we built a coalition that will endure,' he said. 'I would this again with all of you in a heartbeat.'  
U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III speaks outside his campaign headquarters in Watertown, Mass., after conceding defeat to incumbent U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, Tuesday
U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III speaks outside his campaign headquarters in Watertown, Mass., after conceding defeat to incumbent U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, Tuesday
The race has not been cheap, with both candidates raising and spending millions. Early on, Markey and Kennedy were also forced to grapple with the coronavirus, which limited their campaigning
The race has not been cheap, with both candidates raising and spending millions. Early on, Markey and Kennedy were also forced to grapple with the coronavirus, which limited their campaigning
Until Tuesday a Kennedy had never lost a race for Congress in Massachusetts. Robert Kennedy is pictured
Senator-elect John F. Kennedy poses for a portrait on November 5, 1952
 Until Tuesday a Kennedy had never lost a race for Congress in Massachusetts. Robert Kennedy is pictured left. Senator-elect John F. Kennedy poses for a portrait on November 5, 1952, right
Joe Kennedy challenges Democrat incumbent in Senate primary
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The Boston Globe tweeted Kennedy had conceded shortly after 10pm.
Kennedy went after Markey on the issue of racial inequity, criticizing his initial opposition to school desegregation efforts in Boston in the 1970s and noting criticism of Markey by the father of Danroy 'DJ' Henry, a young Black man from Massachusetts killed by police 10 years ago.
Kennedy also highlighted his family's political legacy, in part in response to Markey, who during one debate told Kennedy he should tell his father - former U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy II - not to help fund a political action committee that was going after Markey. 
He also objected to supporters of Markey who he said attacked him on social media, including tweeting 'that Lee Harvey got the wrong Kennedy' - a reference to JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. 
Markey called the tweet unacceptable.

Incumbent U.S. Sen. Edward Markey celebrates with wife Susan, left, in Malden, Mass., after defeating U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III, Tuesday
Incumbent U.S. Sen. Edward Markey celebrates with wife Susan, left, in Malden, Mass., after defeating U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III, Tuesday
The 39-year-old grandson of Robert F. Kennedy lost to incumbent Sen. Ed Markey, 74, who has been in the Senate since 2013
The 39-year-old grandson of Robert F. Kennedy lost to incumbent Sen. Ed Markey, 74, who has been in the Senate since 2013
Joe Kennedy III speaks to his wife Lauren and brother Matt at his primary election rally in Watertown, Massachusetts
Joe Kennedy III speaks to his wife Lauren and brother Matt at his primary election rally in Watertown, Massachusetts
Democratic candidate for United States Senate, Representative Joe Kennedy III (C) and his wife Lauren (R) depart speaks at his campaign headquarters after conceding
Democratic candidate for United States Senate, Representative Joe Kennedy III (C) and his wife Lauren (R) depart speaks at his campaign headquarters after conceding
Kennedy III speaks at his campaign headquarters after conceding
Kennedy III speaks at his campaign headquarters after conceding
Markey has portrayed Kennedy as a 'progressive in name only,' in one debate faulting him for deciding early in his career to work as a prosecutor for Michael O'Keefe, a Republican district attorney.
Markey has tried to tout his progressive chops by pointing to his introduction of the Green New Deal climate change initiative.
He's also referenced his own family story growing up in working-class Malden, where his father drove a truck for the Hood Milk Co.
'I could see my mother and father trying to figure out how to pay the bills at the kitchen table,' Markey recalled.
Kennedy, the 39-year-old grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, lost to incumbent Sen. Ed Markey
Kennedy, the 39-year-old grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, lost to incumbent Sen. Ed Markey
The race has not been cheap, with both candidates raising and spending millions. Early on, Markey and Kennedy were also forced to grapple with the coronavirus, which limited their campaigning.
Recent polls had given Markey an edge.
The race was also a proxy battle of sorts between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. 
Pelosi endorsed Kennedy while Ocasio-Cortez backed Markey.
AOC and Markey joined forces at the beginning of her Congressional career in 2019 to launch matching Green New Deal resolutions in the House and Senate. 
In mid-August Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the other senator from Massachusetts and another top progressive, also backed Markey.   
Rep. Joe Kennedy speaks to the press as supporters are seen holding signs behind him on Democatic primary day in Massachusetts Tuesday
Rep. Joe Kennedy speaks to the press as supporters are seen holding signs behind him on Democatic primary day in Massachusetts Tuesday  
Rep. Joe Kennedy III (center) greets supporter Thanh Nguyen, of Milton, Massachusetts (left) during a campaign stop Tuesday in Boston, before Democratic voters headed to the polls
Rep. Joe Kennedy III (center) greets supporter Thanh Nguyen, of Milton, Massachusetts (left) during a campaign stop Tuesday in Boston, before Democratic voters headed to the polls
Sen. Ed Markey (left) greets a supporter during a campaign stop on Tuesday in Boston
Sen. Ed Markey (left) greets a supporter during a campaign stop on Tuesday in Boston
Until Tuesday a Kennedy had never lost a race for Congress in Massachusetts. 
President John F. Kennedy was elected three times to the U.S. House and twice to the U.S. Senate before being elected president.
Edward Kennedy was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1962 and re-elected every six years until he died in 2009. 
Joe Kennedy ll ran for JFK's old House seat in 1986, won, and was reelected every election until he opted not to run in 1998.
While Tuesday is primary day, many Massachusetts voters have already cast their ballots at early voting locations, mailing them or depositing them in drop boxes due to fears of spreading the virus.
Some Democrats worried early on that the race would siphon attention and dollars away from their top goals - defeating President Donald Trump and regaining control of the Senate. 
Markey now faces a general election contest where he is considered a strong favorite in a district that has historically elected Democrats.
He’ll face the winner of the Republican primary, Kevin O’Connor, in November.

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