SEEKONK, Mass. (WPRI) – Incumbent Ed Markey has won the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, 12 News has confirmed.
Markey fended off a challenge from Joe Kennedy III, who gave up his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives to mount a campaign for the Senate.
In a victory speech delivered in-person only to reporters, campaign staffers and a handful or supporters, Markey promised to continue support progressive Democratic values in Congress, such as Medicare for All, economic and educational justice and combating climate change.
“Tonight is about more than just a celebration of a movement,” he said. “It’s a reaffirmation of the need to have a movement — a progressive movement.”
Kennedy conceded the race just after 10 p.m., 12 News confirmed. It’s the first time a Kennedy has lost a race for Congress in Massachusetts.
“Obviously, these results were not the ones we were hoping for,” Kennedy said in a concession speech that included praise for Markey.
“No matter the results tonight, I would do all of this again with you in a heartbeat,” he told supporters.
The victory comes on the heels of tough re-election campaign for Markey, who has spent the better half of a century representing Massachusetts in Congress.
Shortly after Kennedy conceded the race, New York U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, an influential Democratic supporter of Markey, congratulated the incumbent on Twitter.
Early Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump reacted to Kennedy losing on Twitter.
In August, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi endorsed fellow Democratic House member Kennedy in his bid to unseat Markey in the Democratic primary.
Markey will go on to face the Republican nominee Kevin O’Connor in the general election on Nov. 3.