Joseph Kennedy mulling primary challenge to Markey in Massachusetts

Joseph Kennedy mulling primary challenge to Markey in Massachusetts
© Stefani Reynolds

Rep. Joe KennedyJoseph (Joe) Patrick KennedyThe Hill's 12:30 Report: What we learned from first impeachment transcripts Democrats unifying against Joe Kennedy Senate bid Ocasio-Cortez points to California fires: 'This is what climate change looks like' MORE (D-Mass.) reportedly commissioned a survey to see how well he would fare in a primary challenge against Sen. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeySenators grill safety regulator over self-driving cars Hillicon Valley: Twitter shares more details on political ad rules | Supreme Court takes up Google-Oracle fight | Pentagon chief defends Microsoft cloud contract House, Senate announce agreement on anti-robocall bill MORE (D-Mass.) for Markey's Senate seat as the lawmaker considers a bid against the senior senator.

Kennedy, 38, paid for a survey last month that tested his strength in a head-to-head matchup against Markey, The New York Times reported Saturday, while a senior Democratic official confirmed that Kennedy was weighing a primary challenge.

ADVERTISEMENT

Markey, 76, is a progressive stalwart in the state and this year made headlines by joining with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezSteyer, Biden clash over climate credentials Trump tax breaks for low-income neighborhoods draw scrutiny Sanders doubles down on Bolivia 'coup,' few follow suit MORE (D-N.Y.) to introduce the Green New Deal, an ambitious plan to battle climate change and transition the nation's economy off fossil fuels.

The Times reported that Kennedy is set to make a decision in the coming weeks. A senior adviser to Markey scorched the congressman when asked about the potential bid, telling the Times that Markey would not be forced to retire. 

“Ed is not going anywhere,” Paul Tencher told the newspaper. “He’s going to run, and he’s going to run no matter who is in this race.”

Markey and Kennedy's campaigns did not immediately return requests for comment from The Hill on the Times's report.

If Kennedy enters the race, he will likely face an uphill battle for the seat, as Markey enjoys the support of the state's junior senator, Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE (D-Mass.), who taped a video in support of his reelection earlier this year, according to the Times.

One name in Massachusetts politics who has not endorsed Markey yet is Rep. Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyAyanna Pressley introduces extensive criminal justice reform resolution Ocasio-Cortez jabs 'plutocratic' late entrants to 2020 field Justice Democrats official denies that progressives struggle with electability MORE (D-Mass.), who the Times reports is considering her own bid either for Markey's seat or Warren's should the latter become president in 2020.