By Ray O’Hanlon
After his formal filing of papers with the Federal Election Commission last month, an announcement by Congressman Joseph Kennedy III that he will actually run for the U.S. senate is not the biggest surprise of the week.
But it’s for sure one of the biggest political stories.
Kennedy will formally announce his plans Saturday at a breakfast gathering in East Boston.
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The event will deliver a sour taste to incumbent senator Ed Markey’s first meal of the day.
It will also a set up an old-style Massachusetts classic: a political donnybrook between two Irish American Democrats.
The confirmation that Kennedy will be in the race was first reported by the Boston Globe.
Kennedy, according to the report and subsequent accounts, met with Markey on Wednesday afternoon to inform him of the news.
“Markey and Kennedy have steered clear of one another since news broke that Kennedy was considering a challenge for the seat. Over the weekend, Kennedy held a meet-and-greet with activists after the state Democratic party’s annual convention to gather input on a Senate run,” Politico was reporting earlier today.
Added that report: “The race between Markey and Kennedy is shaping up to be a contest colored by generational themes: Kennedy is 38 years old and Markey, 73, has been in Congress since the 1970s. “Elected to the Senate in a 2013 special election, Markey has been rolling out endorsements from prominent lawmakers and environmental groups for weeks. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) are among his supporters. The Sierra Club endorsed Markey on Wednesday.
“In late July, Kennedy quietly commissioned a poll testing his favorability against Markey, and campaign lines for both lawmakers. A public poll conducted just after Labor Day found Kennedy 14 percentage points ahead of Markey in a head-to-head match-up, and 9 percentage points ahead of Markey and two lesser-known primary challengers….”
CNN reported last month that Kennedy, the son of former congressman Joseph Kennedy II, was ready to go where his grandfather (Robert F. Kennedy) and two great uncles (John F. And Edward M. Kennedy) had gone before: The U.S. Senate.
“The only problem — incumbent Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Edward Markey is running for reelection,” the CNN report stated.
And he still is.