FRAMINGHAM – A Framingham man has announced he will challenge U.S. Senator Edward Markey for his seat.
Steve Pemberton, 52, a graduate of Boston College and a business executive, kicked off his campaign today, July 23.
He is the second Democrat to challenge Markey, who has been in Congress since 1976 and was elected to the Senate in 2013.
Labor attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan announced her challenge to SEn. Markey in May.
“We need leaders who understand the human toll of failed policies and the cost of willful indifference to our families,” said Pemberton in a statement.
With his mother struggling with alcoholism, and a not-so-present father, Pemberton was placed into foster care at age 3. His father later died of gun violence.
Pemberton was bounced between foster homes, eventually landing in an abusive home, where he stayed for more than a decade.
At 16, he went to live with a high school teacher.
Pemberton wrote a book about his life “A Chance in the World,” which is being turned into a movie.
Accepted into Boston College, the summer before he started he worked in housekeeping on campus to qualify for free housing. he graduated in 1989. He later earned a master’s degree in sociology from Boston College.
After college, Pemberton worked as an admissions counselor at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Later, he worked for Walgreens and Monster.com.
In 2017, he became joined Framingham-based Workhuman as its chief human relations officer.
Recently he purchased a home in the City of Framingham.
“My life’s work has been dedicated to providing equality, access, and opportunity for others. But I have never forgotten — nor will I ever forget — how it feels to be overlooked.That is why I am running: to be a passionate advocate for the unseen, a true fighter for the unchosen, and a strong voice for those seeking to restore trust and integrity to our government, as well as faith in one another,” wrote the candidate.
“We face the fierce urgency of now, a moment in our history when the aspirations and livelihoods of our citizens are again under threat due to their race, sexuality, immigration status, gender, or economic situation,” wrote Pemberton in announcing his candidacy.
“Whether it is a lack of access to education, the all-too-common roadblocks to obtaining quality health care, or the collateral impact of income inequality, we need leaders who understand these challenges and can empathize with the very people who are facing them,” wrote Pemberton.
We deserve leaders who understand the human toll of failed policies and the cost of willful indifference inflicted upon our working families and our most vulnerable citizens.I understand these threats because I have lived them, stared them down, and overcome them. I know the haunting feeling of a dream deferred and denied. I strongly believe – at this time more than any in recent history – our future demands leaders who have experienced the struggles and hardships of everyday Americans. I will be a Senator for Massachusetts who leads by understanding that behind the policy, legislation, and votes are real people who matter, and we must always be in service of their cause,” wrote Pemberton.
He officially launched his campaign today in his childhood hometown of New Bedford alongside his wife, Tonya, and their three children.