Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III became the first person in his famous political to lose a race in Massachusetts.

Incumbent Democratic Sen. Ed Markey defeated Kennedy in the Senate primary on Tuesday night.

Kennedy called Markey to concede defeat when he was down by 10 points.

Markey has served 43 years in Congress. This latest victory shows that younger is not necessarily the key to winning:

The incumbent was able to forge a coalition of younger and more liberal Democrats, the sort of voters who once formed the core of the Kennedy base.

By winning renomination in a generational clash — and the marquee Democratic Senate primary of the year — Mr. Markey, 74, proved that the ascendant left is not eager to simply throw out long-serving incumbents in favor of younger rivals, such as the 39-year-old Mr. Kennedy. Mr. Markey, who was first elected to Congress in 1976, was able to outflank Mr. Kennedy with progressives, leaving the heir of Massachusetts’s most storied political dynasty little opening.

Markey’s victory could also provide a glimpse into what the Democratic Party faces if the party wins the White House and Congress in November.

The party is moving to the far-left. Look at Markey, who has never had a reputation as a progressive until recently because of a certain congresswoman:

He has taken a leadership role on issues related to the environment and technology, however, and that linked him to perhaps his most important supporter: Ms. Ocasio-Cortez. Their joint authorship of the Green New Deal offered Mr. Markey access not only to her endorsement but also entree to a new generation of environmental activists. He captured the early support of the Sunrise Movement and built a strong coalition among young progressives.

“If we’re going to have a planet for people in my generation to live on, we need someone like Senator Markey,” said Lindsay Aldworth, 29, who was active with the Sunrise Movement in college and attended a rally for Mr. Markey in New Bedford, Mass., last week.

Kennedy tried to make the race about him and not his family, which ended abruptly later in the race when he added his grandfather Robert Kennedy and great-uncles to his mailers and TV ads.

The Kennedy name still means something to older people in Massachusetts across racial lines, but not so much to the younger generation.


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