Markey-Kennedy race to the wire

Congressman Joe Kennedy III waves to supporters at the Square Deli where he was endorsed by city councilor Stephanie Martins. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso)

Everett a battleground for both candidates


Two weeks ago, Senator Edward Markey received the endorsements of the Boston Globe and the Everett Leader Herald who favor him over his rival, Congressman Joseph Kennedy.

Two weeks later, both candidates have visited Everett, campaigning hard and making themselves visible and accessible in this city, which is believed to be a battleground for the contestants.

Everett as a minority-majority city in one of the most liberal states in the nation, fits the political pro forma for quite a fight.

Kennedy visited over the weekend.

He was greeted warmly wherever he went – which included lunch from the Everett Square Deli and a photo-op with Councilor Stephanie Martins.

Markey’s appearance in Everett Square Monday afternoon had the feeling of the old days.

Quite a crowd of residents and many politicians led by Senator Sal DiDomenico and many city councilors including Councilor at Large Wayne Matewsky and Governor’s Council candidate for re-election Terrence Kennedy, crowded around Markey seeking to let him know they are with him – the hometown guy from Malden whose father was a milkman.

“I’m voting for Markey all the way,” said Councilor at Large Mike Marchese. “I’ll take the local guy who made it himself over Kennedy, whose life has been all about privilege,” he added.

“Ed Markey is a good friend to this city and to all residents of Massachusetts,” Matewsky told the Leader Herald.

Senator Ed Markey, D-MA, waves to supporters after casting a ballot at the Malden Senior Center. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

“I am with him all the way.”

The campaign between the senator and the congressman the pits the vaunted Kennedy political name and all its power and prestige against Markey’s working class persona and narrative.

Markey didn’t go to Harvard. He went to Boston College. He didn’t grow up on an estate with millions of dollars of family money. He grew up in humble circumstances not too far from Everett Square.

The privilege gap could not possibly be wider than it is between Markey and nearly anyone who runs against this Kennedy.

Kennedy has come of age believing he could become a president of the United States.

Markey is pleased to serve Massachusetts as its senior senator and he has had to fight all his life to get there and to keep himself there.

According to those who follow progressive liberal Democrats, there is not an ounce of difference between Markey and Kennedy’s stances on nearly every issue discussed in Washington, DC.

This has led to the ultimate question about why voters would want to get rid of Markey for Kennedy and his ambitions fueled by his family name and privilege and great wealth.

“What would we gain with Kennedy over Markey? If Kennedy wins that’s the last time, you’ll see him in Everett,” Marchese said.

“They are both a bit liberal for me,” Marchese added. “But why would anyone vote for Kennedy. I’m for Markey. He understands what our city is all about.”

Whomever wins Everett is predicted to win the primary.

Markey has seen his fortunes go from a certain presumptive loser to the likely winner over the months since Kennedy announced he would be challenging him.

Markey has reached out to the Haitian community in a real way.

He understands the demographic here.

He is, however, not making a mistake believing he can just sweep a Kennedy aside.

“I am working hard like when I was just starting out, shaking hands, sharing stories, trying to listen, always about what matters to the voters and residents of our state,” Senator Markey told the Leader Herald.

“My endorsement by the Leader Herald meant a lot to me. Since I was a kid the Leader Herald meant something important to the people of this city. I am proud to be running for re-election. I am hoping to validate all the energy coming my way from all Everett’s voters on primary day,” he added.

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