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Rep. Joe Kennedy III mulling primary challenge against fellow Democrat Sen. Markey


The congressman from Massachusetts has filed a statement of candidacy

Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for RFK Human Rights

Rep. Joe Kennedy III of Massachusetts announced Monday that he is considering launching a primary challenge to take the seat held by fellow Democrat Sen. Edward Markey.

What are the details?

Kennedy, 38 — who is the grandson of the late Sen. Robert Kennedy and grandnephew of President John F. Kennedy and Sen. Ted Kennedy — revealed on his Facebook page that while he had not yet finalized his decision, he's "begun to consider a run for the U.S. Senate."

CBS News reported that the same day, Kennedy "filed a statement of candidacy and a principal campaign committee for a 2020 U.S. Senate run."

If Kennedy does run, he would be taking on 73-year-old incumbent Sen. Ed Markey, who has already said he will seek reelection. Markey served several years in the House of Representatives before joining the Senate in 2013, in a special election to replace former Sen. John Kerry (D).

Markey has been a staunch proponent of cutting carbon emissions, and co-sponsored the widely criticized (and defeated) Green New Deal scheme with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)

Reuters reported that while Markey won election with a comfortable margin, Kennedy could "potentially [give] Markey one of the toughest races of his political career."

According to CNN, Markey told the New York Times he will fight to keep his seat regardless of whether Kennedy launches a Senate run.

The Times' Jonathan Martin said of the potential Kennedy challenge, "That would create a titanic match between two well-known figures in that state. And increasingly, people think that as long as Kennedy keeps this door open, he probably is going to have to run, because pulling back will show weakness for a future race. And if you don't run now, the lines aren't going to be any shorter down the road in a state full of liberals."

Anything else?

Kennedy gained national attention when he delivered the Democratic rebuttal to President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech last year — but not all the attention was positive. The congressman had a noticeable amount of shine around his mouth during his televised address, leading critics to accuse him of having "drool" on his face.

Rep. Kennedy later told ABC's "Good Morning America" the sheen was from ChapStick.

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