It’s official, well, almost. Rep. Joe Kennedy will challenge Sen. Markey. Formal announcement to be made Saturday.

From the Boston Globe:

Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III, the last member of the Democratic dynasty serving in Washington, plans to formally announce Saturday that he is launching a primary challenge to Senator Edward J. Markey, an audacious political move that could open fissures within the Democratic Party and reshape the Massachusetts political landscape.

Kennedy will make his announcement at a breakfast with supporters and local community members at East Boston Social Centers, according to two people close to him. From there, Kennedy will tour the state through Monday, highlighting issues he plans to center his campaign on, including health care access, mental health and addiction issues, climate change, and civil rights, the people said.

Kennedy informed Markey of his decision Wednesday, one of the people added. A spokesperson for Markey’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Kennedy has a looooong road ahead if he’s going to pull this off. Older, more seasoned Democrats are not on board with Kennedy’s decision and have issued public warnings saying as much.

Joe Kennedy doesn’t have to just beat incumbent Ed Markey to win a Senate seat. He’ll also have to trounce Chuck Schumer, Elizabeth Warren, Senate Democrats’ campaign arm — and maybe Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The 38-year-old congressman and grandson of Robert F. Kennedy will confront a buzz saw of Washington Democrats if he takes the leap to challenge the Massachusetts senator, a move that would create a massive distraction for the party in a safe Democratic state amid a battle for both the White House and the Senate majority.

“That kind of intraparty fighting is not good in the long term. And I don’t think it will be good for Joe Kennedy,” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) warned. “I’m a survivor of the [Ted] Kennedy-[Jimmy] Carter fight. I know how long those sentiments last.”

With Kennedy flirting with the race and leading in early polls, Markey has moved quickly to shore up support from both the Washington establishment and prominent progressives. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) has endorsed him, and Schumer said the party is “fully behind Sen. Ed Markey.”

As Mike blogged last week, Kennedy supports abolition of the Electoral College and term limits for Supreme Court justices.

Should be a great sideshow addition to the 2020 circus.


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