EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — U.S. Senate rivals Ed Markey and Joe Kennedy III faced off Monday night in a live televised debate hosted by WPRI 12 and Gannett’s Massachusetts publications in partnership with the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
The debate was the only one between the pair scheduled to be held in Southern New England ahead of the Sept. 1 primary election. It was moderated by Target 12 Investigator Tim White and WPRI 12 politics editor Ted Nesi. UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Dr. Robert Johnson and Taunton Daily Gazette/Enterprise of Brockton regional city editor Rebecca Hyman asked questions.
In-Depth: Kennedy, Markey clash over race, criminal justice during WPRI 12 Senate debate »
Watch the full debate in the video above.
Below, you’ll find in-depth analysis from UMass Dartmouth political science professor Shannon Jenkins along with some clips from the debate and photos from behind the scenes.
Q&A: Analysis of 2020 Massachusetts Senate debate »
Photos: Behind the Scenes
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Video Now: Closing Statements
The debate was originally slated to be held on the UMass Dartmouth campus, but the location has been moved to WPRI 12’s broadcast studios due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Markey, who was first elected to the Senate in 2013 after decades in the House, is facing a Democratic primary challenge from Kennedy, who has represented the 4th Congressional District since winning election in 2012. Polls have consistently shown a close contest between the pair.
Newsmakers: Markey/Kennedy debate preview »
WATCH: Pre-debate discussion with Tim and Ted:
Both campaigns have indicated Southeastern Massachusetts could be a key battleground in the Sept. 1 Senate primary.
The debate also aired live on WPRI 12 and Nexstar Broadcasting’s other stations in the region: WWLP-TV (NBC) in Springfield, The CW Springfield and NEWS10 ABC (WTEN) in Albany, which reaches the Berkshires.