Neal and Markey win Massachusetts primaries

Congressman Richard Neal

By Jim Smith
BOSTON --- U.S. Senator Edward Markey and U.S. Representative Richard Neal have won their respective Democratic primary races, with Markey defeating U.S. Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III by about ten points and Neal beating Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse by a twenty point margin.
Neal, who is the 71-year-old chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and head of the Congressional Friends of Ireland, likely benefitted from allegations that his openly gay opponent, who was a strong proponent of the Green New Deal and Medicare for All, had been having sexual contact with students while teaching part-time at UMass Amherst, an issue which is currently under investigation.
Neal, who has been in the U.S. House for 32 years, will run unopposed in the November election with no Republican on the ballot. He told supporters Tuesday night after his win that "working-class Democrats" had propelled him to victory.
The Markey-Kennedy race had become heated in the final weeks, with Markey calling the 39-year-old congressman "a progressive in name only" while touting his own endorsement from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, with whom the 74-year-old senator co-sponsored the Green New Deal.
Kennedy had also become increasingly miffed with Markey's references to the Kennedy family, especially one in which Markey thusly paraphrased in a campaign video famous lines from President John F. Kennedy's inaugural address: "We asked what we could do for our country. We went out. We did it. With all due respect, it's time to start asking what your country can do for you."
During his concession speech Tuesday night, Kennedy put aside his differences with Markey and vowed to offer his full support behind a Markey victory in November over Republican challenger, Attorney Kevin J. O'Connor.
The Markey-O'Connor race may get interesting because O'Connor has already come out swinging at Markey's positions, unlike Kennedy who seemed to agree with Markey during the debates on most of the issues, including Medicare for All and the Green New Deal, both of which, O'Connor is saying, would be "a disaster for this country."
And in radio interview Wednesday morning, O'Connor vowed to bring thousands of "Kennedy Democrats" into his campaign, saying that, even in Massachusetts, Democrats and Independents are fed up with the "far left" proposals of Markey and other progressives.

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