Pelosi-backed Senate candidate Joe Kennedy loses primary to Ed Markey

Incumbent Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) has won his primary race against challenger Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA), and Kennedy reportedly called Markey at 10:00 AM on Wednesday to concede.

Despite House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) issuing a surprise endorsement of Kennedy two weeks ago, voters rejected Kennedy in favor of Markey, a shocking defeat for the Democrat establishment.

First Kennedy loss

As of Wednesday morning, Breitbart reported that “Markey led the race 54.1 percent to 45.9 percent with 908,022 votes counted and 73 percent of precincts reported.”

This loss is the first defeat that the Kennedy family has experienced in a Massachusetts election since John F. Kennedy won his first congressional race in 1946.

The up-and-coming Kennedy launched his primary challenge of Markey, who has held the seat since 2013, in September of 2019, opening up a double-digit lead almost immediately. However, Kennedy’s campaign began to fizzle out after Democrats — especially progressives — questioned Kennedy’s reason for challenging a well-liked progressive incumbent.

Kennedy attempted to attack Markey as an establishment candidate, but the strategy fell flat as Kennedy is a member of one of the most established families in the history of American politics.

President Trump weighed in on the results of the race, tweeting on Wednesday “See, even a Kennedy isn’t safe in the new Radical Left Democrat Party,” Trump tweeted. “Taxes up big, no 2A. Biden has completely lost control. Pelosi strongly backed the loser!”

Progressives split

The Markey-Kennedy race highlights a growing fissure within the Democrat party that party leaders are increasingly unable to control.

Despite Nancy Pelosi throwing her weight behind Kennedy towards the end of the primary race, Progressives rallied behind Markey to carry him past the finish line.

When Pelosi announced her endorsement of Kennedy, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) complained about Pelosi’s apparent double-standard in regard to challenging incumbent Democrat candidates. Pelosi has strongly discouraged Democrats from attempting to unseat incumbents throughout this election cycle, making a high-profile exception for Kennedy.

Markey shored up his campaign early on with glowing endorsements from progressive heroes such as Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and the success of this strategy further illustrates the assertion that the balance of power within the Democrat party is shifting to the left.

Pelosi received another shocking defeat when Rep. Elliot Engel (D-NY) — whom she endorsed in the spring — lost his primary to far-left challenger Jamaal Bowman — another progressive backed by Ocasio-Cortez.

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