Speed Reads

senate races

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may have a lot to do with Joe Kennedy's primary struggles

Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.) could soon be out of politics, and an unlikely colleague may have something to do with it, Politico reports.

Kennedy is challenging Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) in the statewide Democratic primary for Markey's seat, which he's held since 2013. Politico notes that Kennedy tries to hit the 74-year-old Markey by criticizing his support for the 1994 crime bill and the Iraq War when he was in the House, both of which would seemingly put him in trouble with the progressive left. But the incumbent has maintained a lead over his 39-year-old challenger in large part thanks to an army of young voters, who, with a push from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), view Markey as key to the climate change movement.

Mary Ann Marsh, a Boston-based Democratic consultant, told Politico that Ocasio-Cortez, the Sunrise Movement, and Justice Democrats have "allowed this remarkable makeover" of the veteran lawmaker who has been in Congress for 44 years, turning him into the "darling of the climate change warriors." Without Ocasio-Cortez, she said, "I think it would've been a much harder effort to make him into the Ed Markey people see in this race, which is very different from the Ed Markey people in Massachusetts have seen in 44 years." Read more at Politico.