Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: 73-Year-Old Ed Markey Is the ‘Generational Change We’ve Been Waiting For’

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 07: U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) (L) and Sen. Ed Ma
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) believes her fellow Green New Deal author, 73-year-old Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), is the “generational change we’ve been waiting for.”

The freshman congresswoman made the remark to reporters on Thursday when asked for her thoughts on the primary challenge Markey will face for his Senate seat in 2020 from Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA). Ocasio-Cortez, who is actively backing primary challenges to moderate House Democrats, praised Markey as a champion of progressive values.

“Sen. Markey is the generational change we’ve been waiting for,” Ocasio-Cortez said of the 73-year-old senator, before adding “generational change” is about issues, not simply electing “whoever is younger.”

Ocasio-Cortez’s comments comments come one day after news broke that Kenendy will announce his campaign on Saturday. Kennedy, the 38-year-old congressman scion of one America’s most storied political families, has been laying the groundwork for a run since July, when he quietly commissioned polls testing his viability against Markey. His intentions only seemed to be confirmed last month when he began hiring staff and filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to begin raising money for the race.

Markey, who was first elected to the Senate in a 2013 special election to replace former Secretary of State John Kerry, has shown no intention of taking the threat lightly. Over the summer, Markey revamped his campaign apparatus by bringing on a former chairman of the Massachusetts Democrat Party to run its day-to-day operations. The senator has also hired a top Washington, D.C., polling firm.

Apart from building out his campaign infrastructure, Markey has worked to line up state and national Democrats behind his bid. One of those Democrats has been Ocasio-Cortez, with whom Markey worked to author and introduce the Green New Deal earlier this year.

“Ed Markey, I know, is one of the strongest progressives that we have in the United States Senate,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a video endorsement trumpeted by the senator’s campaign last week. “He’s not just resting on his record of the past, but he’s aggressively pursuing an agenda for the future … And that’s what a progressive is, and that’s what progressivism is all about.”


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