The campaign for Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) criticized the Boston Globe on Wednesday for allowing “establishment voices” to prevail after the newspaper endorsed incumbent Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) in the Massachusetts Senate primary race.
Kennedy campaign manager Nick Clemons lamented to supporters that the campaign “worked the board tirelessly the last several months … but in the end, the establishment voices won out,” according to an email obtained by Politico.
The Globe announced its support for Markey on Tuesday, earlier than usual because of the state’s new and expansive mail-in voting law that the Democrat state legislature passed expeditiously amid claims it would lower the risk of spreading the Chinese coronavirus.
The Globe contended in its endorsement that “Kennedy has not made a persuasive case for removing Markey from the Senate seat,” adding Markey — a longtime proponent of energy initiatives that include coauthoring the failed Green New Deal — was the better candidate given “the window for action on the climate crisis closing.”
Clemons noted that the Kennedy campaign “fully anticipated” the Globe’s endorsement snub.
“Add it to the long list of forces in this state that circle the wagons when the status quo gets challenged,” Clemons wrote, referring to Markey, who has served in Congress since 1976.
Kennedy, 39 years old and a scion of one of America’s most well-known political dynasties, ironically has the benefit of bearing the trademark Kennedy name in his quest to unseat the senator; notable family members include his grandfather Robert Kennedy, a former U.S. attorney general and senator; and his great uncles President John F. Kennedy and Sen. Ted Kennedy, among others.
The Kennedy campaign manager argued in his email following the Globe endorsement that “the status quo has delivered” because “Ed Markey has done just fine.” The email continued:
If you are one of the Globe’s disproportionately white, well-off, well-educated readers, the past few decades have been pretty good for you.
But if you are one of the hundreds of thousands of normal, working people in this Commonwealth, if you are Black or Brown, if you are an immigrant or a veteran, if you are sick or struggling or suffering — you know that business as usual isn’t working.
Aside from the advantage of his famous last name, Kennedy is also leading the Senate primary race in polls by an average of nine points, according to RealClearPolitics, although this average does not capture recent months as the latest public poll dates back to early May. Additionally, his lead has narrowed since he first announced his candidacy last September, and he would face a historic loss should his lead continue to falter as he would be the first in his family to lose a Massachusetts election.
As far as fundraising, the two progressive candidates are nearly even in cash on hand, with each holding about $4.8 million as of June 30, according to Federal Election Commission data.
The primary race takes place September 1, though mail-in ballots will be sent out to voters as early as next week.