Speed Reads

all over the map

Rep. Joe Kennedy calls out Sen. Ed Markey for ignoring Massachusetts towns that don't even exist

Massachusetts' Senate race could use a geography lesson.

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) is facing a tough primary challenge from Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.), and has tried to highlight what he's done for every Massachusetts municipality with a map on his campaign website. But that map seemingly had some omissions, Kennedy's campaign noted in a weekend press release, saying "the towns/cities of Stoughton, Blackstone, Dana, Dudley, Enfield, and Prescott do not exist in Markey's Massachusetts." "There's just one problem," The Boston Globe notes. "The towns of Dana, Enfield, and Prescott don't exist in anyone's Massachusetts."

Those three western Massachusetts communities actually haven't been around for a century, as they were all unincorporated and flooded in the 1930s to create what's now the Quabbin Reservoir. About 2,500 people were displaced and their communities destroyed to provide drinking water to about 3 million people, per the state's Department of Conservation and Recreation.

"We regret the silly error. But to be clear, we don't think Senator Markey has been present in the 351 cities and towns that are above water either," the Kennedy campaign's communications director Emily Kaufman told the Globe. "Apparently it's easier for congressman Kennedy's campaign to find baseless political attacks than Massachusetts cities and towns," the Markey campaign's press secretary Liz Vlock countered.

One Emerson University poll gave Kennedy the advantage over Markey this fall, while one from the University of Massachusetts-Lowell had them nearly tied. Their fundraising numbers also remain about equal. Whoever wins their Sept. 1 primary will likely win the statewide election.