Ocasio-Cortez endorses Markey in Senate race amid speculation over Kennedy candidacy

Aaron Schwartz

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) Friday endorsed Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) in his reelection bid amid speculation that Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.) may challenge the 73-year-old incumbent in a primary.

Ocasio-Cortez, a progressive hero in the House, noted that she and Markey collaborated on introducing the Green New Deal in Congress and praised him as “one of the strongest progressives that we have in the United States Senate.”

{mosads}“I’m here to say that I’m proud to enthusiastically support and endorse Sen. Ed Markey for reelection to the United States Senate,” she said in a video Friday. “Ed Markey is a proud and strong progressive champion for working families. Not just in Massachusetts, but across the country.”

“And his leadership in authoring the Green New Deal along with me, and carrying it in the United States Senate, is emblematic of the kind of work that he does for working families across the country,” she added.

“And he’s not just resting on his record of the past, but he’s aggressively pursuing an agenda for the future. And that’s … what progressivism is all about,” she said.

Markey said in a statement he was “proud” to work with Ocasio-Cortez on climate change and is “honored” to have her endorsement.

Markey, who has maintained his liberal bona fides since entering the Senate in 2013, appeared to be coasting early on in his reelection campaign ahead of the 2020 race until Kennedy announced he was mulling a Senate bid of his own. 

Kennedy, who is currently serving his fourth term in the House and is the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, would likely pose a significant threat to Markey due to his status as virtual political royalty in Massachusetts. Indeed, a recent Suffolk University-Boston Globe survey found Markey trailing Kennedy by 9 points.

To bolster his reelection bid, Markey has thus far garnered the endorsements of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and a bevy of advocacy groups, including the League of Conservation Voters Action Fund, the Sunrise Movement, NARAL Pro-Choice America and more. However, with both Markey and Kennedy maintaining progressive reputations, a primary battle would likely focus more on generational divides rather than policies. 

Kennedy said he is considering running because “our system has been letting down a lot of people for a long time, and we can’t fix it if we don’t challenge it,” though he clarified he has not yet reached a final decision.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Ed Markey Elizabeth Warren Joe Kennedy

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