Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.) reportedly commissioned a survey to see how well he would fare in a primary challenge against Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) for Markey’s Senate seat as the lawmaker considers a bid against the senior senator.
Kennedy, 38, paid for a survey last month that tested his strength in a head-to-head matchup against Markey, The New York Times reported Saturday, while a senior Democratic official confirmed that Kennedy was weighing a primary challenge.
Markey, 76, is a progressive stalwart in the state and this year made headlines by joining with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) to introduce the Green New Deal, an ambitious plan to battle climate change and transition the nation’s economy off fossil fuels.
The Times reported that Kennedy is set to make a decision in the coming weeks. A senior adviser to Markey scorched the congressman when asked about the potential bid, telling the Times that Markey would not be forced to retire.
“Ed is not going anywhere,” Paul Tencher told the newspaper. “He’s going to run, and he’s going to run no matter who is in this race.”
Markey and Kennedy’s campaigns did not immediately return requests for comment from The Hill on the Times’s report.
If Kennedy enters the race, he will likely face an uphill battle for the seat, as Markey enjoys the support of the state’s junior senator, Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who taped a video in support of his reelection earlier this year, according to the Times.
One name in Massachusetts politics who has not endorsed Markey yet is Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), who the Times reports is considering her own bid either for Markey’s seat or Warren’s should the latter become president in 2020.