Rep. Joe Kennedy III said Monday he is considering a primary challenge against Sen. Ed Markey, a fellow Massachusetts Democrat.
“Over the past few weeks I’ve begun to consider a run for the U.S. Senate. This isn’t a decision I’m approaching lightly and — to be completely candid — I wasn’t expecting to share my thoughts so soon,” Kennedy, the scion to the Kennedy political dynasty, wrote on Facebook.
Reports surfaced earlier in August that Kennedy, a grandson to former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, was considering a run for Markey’s seat, which the 73-year-old has held since 2013. (RELATED: CNN: Joe Kennedy III Is An ‘Every Man’)
Joe Kennedy, 38, addressed some of the criticism against a potential Senate bid in his statement.
“I hear the folks who say I should wait my turn, but with due respect — I’m not sure this is a moment for waiting. 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,” he said.
“I’ve got some ideas on how to do that. And I don’t think our democratic process promises anyone a turn,” the representative added. “What it does promise is the chance for anyone to earn it — if we think we have something to offer and are willing to put ourselves and our ideas out there.”
Markey is considered one of the most liberal senators in office. He is a leading sponsor of the Green New Deal, the multi-trillion climate change plan New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez proposed.
Joe Kennedy has maintained a relatively low profile in the House of Representatives, where he has served since 2013. His first taste of the national spotlight came in January 2018, when he presented the Democratic rebuttal to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address. He now appears poised to challenge Markey based on his name recognition and his age.
“I haven’t reached a decision yet — that’s the truth. I’m thinking about what I have to offer Massachusetts voters, what is most important in this political moment, and what kind of party Democrats need to be building for the future,” he said.
Joe Kennedy would be the fourth member of his political dynasty to reach the upper chamber if elected to the Senate.
Robert F. Kennedy held a New York Senate seat from 1965 until his assassination in 1968. Ted Kennedy, his grand-uncle, held a Senate seat in Massachusetts from 1962 until his death in 2009. John F. Kennedy, his grand-uncle, held a Massachusetts seat from 1953 until he was elected president in 1960.
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