US Sen. Edward Markey of Massachusetts defeated US Rep. Joe Kennedy III in Tuesday’s hard-fought Democratic primary, harnessing support from progressive leaders to overcome a challenge from a younger rival who is a member of America’s most famous political family. It was the first time a Kennedy has lost a race for Congress in Massachusetts, the AP reports. Markey appealed to voters in the deeply Democratic state by positioning himself as aligned with the liberal wing of the party. He teamed up with a leading progressive, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, on the Green New Deal climate change initiative—and at one point labeled Kennedy “a progressive in name only.” That helped Markey overcome the enduring power of the Kennedy name in Massachusetts.
The 39-year-old congressman sought to cast the 74-year-old Markey as someone out of touch after spending decades in Congress, first in the House before moving to the Senate. At a victory celebration in his hometown of Malden, Mass., Markey ticked off a series of priorities, from support for the Black Lives Matter movement to a call for Medicare for All, to combating climate change, a signature issue for Markey. “Every other problem is linked to it. No solution to any challenge will be successful unless we address it. There will be no peace, no justice, and no prosperity unless we stop the march to climate destruction,” he said. “We must pass a Green New Deal.” To make good on those pledges, Markey said Democrats have to take back control of the US Senate and oust President Trump in November. Markey now faces a general election contest where he is considered a strong favorite against Republican primary winner, Kevin O’Connor.
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