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 MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyGOP senators debate replacing Columbus Day with Juneteenth as a federal holiday The Hill's Campaign Report: Jacksonville mandates face coverings as GOP convention approaches Steyer endorses Markey in Massachusetts Senate primary MORE (D-Mass.) ahead of his primary against Rep. Joe KennedyJoseph (Joe) Patrick KennedyThe Hill's Campaign Report: Jacksonville mandates face coverings as GOP convention approaches Steyer endorses Markey in Massachusetts Senate primary Celebrities fundraise for Markey ahead of Massachusetts Senate primary 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 LewisIRS, taxpayers face obstacles ahead of July 15 filing deadline We must move beyond 'the rank of a mere citizen' Warnock raises almost M in Georgia Senate race in second quarter 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 PocanThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: DC's Bowser says protesters and nation were 'assaulted' in front of Lafayette Square last month; Brazil's Bolsonaro, noted virus skeptic, tests positive for COVID-19 Steyer endorses Markey in Massachusetts Senate primary Celebrities fundraise for Markey ahead of Massachusetts Senate primary MORE (D-Wis.). 

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