Joe Kennedy III launches U.S. Senate bid in East Boston

Joseph Kennedy III launched his U.S. Senate bid Saturday morning in the gymnasium of the East Boston Social Centers, invoking his family’s immigrant roots in the neighborhood while pledging to “show up” for Massachusetts.

“This community, Massachusetts, has been with my family for an awful long time,” through good times and bad, Kennedy said. “So my commitment to you, throughout this campaign, if I am fortunate to serve in the United States Senate, is that I will show up.”

Kennedy, currently a U.S. Representative, is mounting a primary challenge to incumbent U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, in a race that also includes labor attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan and business executive Steve Pemberton.

Kennedy launched his campaign with a roughly 10-minute speech outlining his family’s pursuit of the American dream and how he’s now seeking to help others achieve it in the face of a fractured society and roadblocks erected by the Trump administration.

He said President Trump had “forced a reckoning in this nation” that “requires taking on a clearly broken system … that allowed him to win in the first place.”

Kennedy followed his 9 a.m. kickoff – a breakfast with supporters and family – by starting a seven-stop tour around the state that will continue with another six stops across Sunday and Monday.

Minutes before Kennedy’s launch – on his wife’s birthday, no less – his campaign sent out a video formally announcing his candidacy to the masses.

Not to be outdone, Markey’s team posted a video in which the junior senator challenged his opponents to a climate debate.

The race between Kennedy and Markey promises to be a marquee showdown not just in Massachusetts but across the country – presenting voters with a generational divide between two establishment politicians who largely share their progressive ideals. While Kennedy brings his family pedigree and youth, Markey brings four decades in Congress and co-sponsorship of the Green New Deal ever-popular among the party’s left.

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