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Celebrities fundraise for Markey ahead of Massachusetts Senate primary

A number of high-profile celebrities are pulling out the fundraising stops for incumbent Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyACLU sues DHS for records on purchased cell phone data to track immigrants DHS watchdog to probe agency's tracking of Americans' phone data without a warrant Manchin: Ocasio-Cortez 'more active on Twitter than anything else' MORE (D-Mass.) ahead of his primary against Rep. Joe KennedyJoseph (Joe) Patrick KennedyConor Lamb defeats Trump-backed challenger for reelection in Pennsylvania Van Drew fends off challenge from Kennedy after party switch Markey wins reelection in Massachusetts MORE III (D-Mass.). 

The celebrities include singer Carole King, who campaigned for Markey in 2014; actress and environmental advocate Jane Fonda; and actor Michael Douglas. 

Markey's campaign sent out three separate emails from the celebrities asking supporters to make a donation to the senator ahead of the Federal Election Commission's deadline. 

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The effort comes as Markey lags behind Kennedy in fundraising two months out from the Bay State's Democratic Senate primary. Kennedy had $6.2 million in cash on hand at the end of the last fundraising quarter, while Markey had $4.4 million in the bank. 

However, the financial race between the two candidates is expected to heat up ahead of the race. The Boston Globe first reported last month that the outside group, Environment Massachusetts, would spend $200,000 on print and digital advertisements for Markey, who is the co-author of the Green New Deal. 

Civil rights icon Rep. John LewisJohn LewisKwanza Hall wins race to briefly succeed John Lewis in Congress Congress must act to protect and expand Social Security benefits Ossoff features Obama in TV ad ahead of Georgia runoff MORE (D-Ga.) sent out a fundraising email for Kennedy on Friday. 

Markey has trailed Kennedy in a number of public polls conducted ahead of the race. A University of Massachusetts-Lowell survey conducted at the end of April showed Kennedy leading Markey by two points. 

Both candidates are running on progressive platforms, with Markey touting his stances on issues like the Green New Deal, while Kennedy has run on bringing a fresh perspective and change to the Senate. 

Markey has referred to Kennedy as "progressive in name only," while Kennedy has touted endorsements from leading progressives, including the co-chair of the House Progressive Caucus, Rep. Mark PocanMark William PocanBattle for Pentagon post in Biden Cabinet heats up Capitol's COVID-19 spike could be bad Thanksgiving preview Katherine Clark secures No. 4 leadership spot for House Democrats MORE (D-Wis.). 

The Massachusetts Democratic Senate primary is slated for Sept. 1.