Editor’s Note: Report was posted at 10:22 p.m. on September 1. It was last updated at 9:30 p.m. on September 2.
BOSTON – Senator Edward Markey, a Democrat from Malden, defeated Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III, who was challenging him for his U.S. Senate seat. Markey will now face Republican Kevin O’Connor from Dover in November for the 6-year seat.
Framingham, Ashland, Natick, & Marlborough also supported Markey in the Democratic race.
Sen. Markey received a call from Kennedy III conceding the race around 10 p.m., according to a Kennedy campaign spokesperson. At that time only about 45 percent of the votes had been counted in the state. Framingham, Boston, Lowell, Lawrence, Salem, Brocketon, New Bedford, Marlborough all had yet to report their counts when Kennedy conceded.
At 10 p.m. Sen. Markey was ahead 321,998 votes to 268,333 votes, when the call from Kennedy came to Markey.
As of 6 a.m. Wednesday, with more than 85% of the votes (over 1 million votes tabulated) counted Markey was ahead 662,081 (55.5%) to 530,430 (44.4%).
With 99% of the votes counted in the state, Sen. Markey had 765,094 votes (55.3%) with Kennedy with 616,500 votes (44.6%)
Framingham results did not come in until after midnight. Markey won with 60% of the vote – 8,537 to 5,668.
Unofficial turnout for Framingham was about 35 percent for Democrats, and about 7 percent for Republicans.
City of Framingham Mayor Yvonne Spicer had been campaigning for Kennedy most of this summer, after giving her endorsement. District 3 Framingham City Councilor Adam Steiner also endorsed Kennedy.
But Senate President Karen Spilka, State Rep. Maria Robinson, State Rep. Jack Patrick Lewis, and Framingham City Councilors Phil Ottaviani Jr. John Stefanini, Robert Case, Cesar Stewart-Morales, Tracey Bryant and Margareth Shepard all endorsed Markey.
Ashland supported Markey with 57.5% of the vote. He won the community 2,309 to 1,700.
In Natick, Markey captured almost 63% of the votes, winning 6,099 to 3,589.
In Marlborough, Markey won 3,615 (52.6%) to 3,246 (47.3%).
In his acceptance speech, Markey, who grew up in a working-class family in Malden, and now 74 years old thanks young, progressive voters for their support over his 39-year-old challenger.
“This election is an undeniable mandate for action, and it is our young people who will lead the way,” Markey said.
The Senator thanked his “Markeyverse” that backed his campaign.
Markey also was endorsed by the Sunrise Movement, a national youth-led climate action group, which cited his co-authorship of the Green New Deal and long track record of environmental advocacy. The endorsement from Green New Deal, co-sponsor and New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also helped him with young progressive voters.
“There will be no peace, no justice, and no prosperity unless we stop the march to climate destruction. This is a matter of life and death. The very future of our civilization depends upon it. There is no time for simply doing what we can. There is no time for compromise on the existential threat on our time. We must pass a Green New Deal,” said Markey.
Kennedy, who lost his home community of Newton easily 18,385 to 10,285, gave his speech around 10:30 p.m.
“The senator is a good man,” Kennedy said. “You have never heard me say otherwise. It was difficult at times between us. Good elections often get heated. But I’m grateful for the debate, for his commitment to our Commonwealth, and for the energy and enthusiasm that he brought to this race.”
While Kennedy never said anything negative about Sen. Markey, his supporters and his campaign workers did, and the Markey said was just as fervent in their support of Markey attacking Kennedy for his privilege.
No Kennedy had ever lost a race in Massachusetts until today, September 1.
Kennedy told his supporters he plans to run again for political office. He will lose his Congressional seat come December 31.
The Congressman won several major cities yesterday including Lawrence, Springfield, New Bedford,fall River, Lynn, Revere, and Chelsea.
The Congressman also captured a small victory in Worcester 13,682 (51.9%) to Markey’s 12,649 (48%) votes.
“We built a campaign for working folks of every color and creed, who carry the economic injustice of this country on their backs — who don’t lie awake at night worried about political labels or litmus tests, but about the child care bill that’s due on Friday,” Kennedy said.
But he lost in Boston 77,518 (59.6%) to 52,485 (40.3%).
“Working men and women asking for nothing more than the chance to build a good and decent life for their family and a government that makes it easier — not harder — for them to take care of the people they love,” Kennedy said.
The irony in the race was that Kennedy, who grew up in a privileged life-style won many of the urban, working class cities, while Markey, who was the first in his family to go to college, won many of the suburbs across Massachusetts.
Markey also won strong in many cities in what was his former Congressional District, including Malden, Medford, and Framingham.
And won of Markey’s biggest wins was in Somerville where he captured the City with 80% of the votes – 19,692 to 4,866/
Markey first won his U.S. Senate seat in a special election in 2013, replacing then-Secretary of State John F. Kerry. His first 6-year term victory was in 2014.
Markey, who graduated from Boston College and Boston College Law School, has never lost a race since first elected to Congress in 1972.
And this will always be known as the first race a Kennedy lost.
And it was an expensive race. Markey spent about $10 million and Kennedy spent about $11.5 million, according to pre-primary federal election commission reports.
photo by Norma Shulman