'Because I Want It' Not A Winning Senate Race Message For Young Joe Kennedy
Sen. Ed Markey is justifiably proud of being the Senate sponsor of the Green New Deal, which he introduced last year along with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the House. And now Markey can say he's the first person to ever win a statewide election against a Kennedy in Massachusetts, although we're pretty sure he didn't really have that on his bucket list. Markey won yesterday's primary with about 55 percent of the vote to Kennedy's 45 percent, with a few townships not yet counted. Kennedy called Markey to concede last night, shortly before the AP called the race for Markey with about three quarters of the results in.
As Politico notes, it was a pretty weird race all around:
Kennedy, the scion of the state's best-known political family, was favored to win when he entered the race a year ago, and many suspected Markey might retire to avoid an embarrassing loss. But Kennedy became the underdog in the final weeks of the campaign. And unlike other primary battles, it's was Markey, the 74-year-old incumbent, who morphed into the favorite candidate of young liberals taking on the party establishment.
Kennedy immediately did the decent party unity thing, like a grownup:
"The senator is a good man. You have never heard me say otherwise," Kennedy said at his primary night event in Watertown, Mass. "It was difficult at times between us. Good elections often get heated. But I'm grateful for the debates, for his commitment to our commonwealth and for the energy and enthusiasm that he brought to this race.
It was an odd race, with Nancy Pelosi endorsing Kennedy and lots of young lefty folks like AOC supporting Markey, and we never quite heard a rationale for Kennedy primarying a fine Democrat — Ed Markey is not your terrible Richie Neal, for instance — besides "because I want it." Which didn't turn out to be a winning message.
In the other big Massachusetts race, terrible Rep. Richard Neal held on to his First Congressional District seat with a whopping 59 percent to 41 percent win over Alex Morse, the progressive mayor of Holyoke. Neal has been in the House since 1989, and as the chair of the Ways and Means committee, he's one of the most powerful members of the House. He's also pissed off progressives by slow-walking the demands for Donald Trump's taxes and by killing legislation that would have cracked down on "surprise" medical billing, which is a pretty crap thing to do. He gets lots of money from the insurance and tax preparation industries, and Morse's team painted him as "corporate America's favorite Democrat." And they weren't wrong!
Morse, the state's only openly gay mayor (and the youngest, at least when he was elected at the age of 22, in 2011), was also targeted in the final weeks of the campaign with a sleazy ratfucking campaign that vaguely accused him of sexual improprieties with students when he was an adjunct prof at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The Intercept found email messages sent between two members of the school's College Democrats in which they discussed hurting Morse's campaign, including one from a kid who said he hoped ratfucking Morse might help him get a staff job with Rep. Neal's office. Leaders of the state Democratic Party, it turned out, had also helped the student Dems push their story. There is no evidence that Neal's campaign was involved.
And that's all there is to say about that.
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