MALDEN, Mass. (WWLP) – Massachusetts voters on Tuesday chose incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Edward Markey to represent them in the U.S. Senate election in November.
Markey was challenged by U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III, the 39-year-old grandson of Robert F. Kennedy. Kennedy conceded to Markey Tuesday night, shortly after a majority of the precincts reported, 22News confirmed.
Senator Markey arrived at the Malden Public Library and address an excited crowd of supporters Tuesday night. Markey and Kennedy had been battling it out for months now, participating in several debates where they went head to head on issues like racial justice and the environment.
Markey was defending his seat in the Senate, which he’s held since 2013. Markey is no stranger to Washington politics, given that he’s served in Congress for more than three decades; most of that time in the House of Representatives. Tuesday night, he hoped that Massachusetts voters would give him another chance to represent the progressive policies that he says the Bay State stands for.
Polls out of UMass Lowell last week showed Markey with a clear lead, but the primary battle against Kennedy had not been easy. Both candidates have been traveling around Massachusetts for months now, and Tuesday, Senator Markey was in Springfield making his final case to voters as they headed to the polls.
Kennedy III promised a new generation of leadership and hoped to become the next Kennedy to take a seat in the U.S. Senate by ousting the 74-year-old Markey. He gave an emotional speech while conceding in front of supporters here at his Watertown headquarters around 10:30 p.m., and said he would do this campaign again in a heartbeat with his supporters.
Kennedy III called Senator Ed Markey around 10:15 p.m. to concede the highly contested race. Polls did project Kennedy to win early in the race, but towards the end, Markey was ahead in most polls. He did win in Springfield, Orange, Westfield, Agawam, and several other western Massachusetts communities, but Markey ran-up large totals in the voter-rich Boston area. Kennedy’s campaign showed strong support from middle-aged and older voters who supported his family members when they were in politics.
Kennedy III had largely framed this race as a generational fight when asked why he’s running against 74-year-old Senator Markey, saying he believed there needed to be changed in the office with a younger politician.
Markey will now go against Republican candidate Kevin O’Connor in November for the seat. Governor Baker said on Tuesday he voted by mail for O’Connor in the state primary.