What’s in a name? Kennedy name no longer enough to best veteran politician Markey in Boston

Political pundits will be scratching their heads for weeks as they analyze the numbers and trends that propelled U.S. Senator Ed Markey – once labelled dead in the water last fall – to a clock-cleaning victory over Congressman Joe Kennedy III.

That was particularly the case in Boston, and JP voters handed Markey one of his most lop-sided victories over Kennedy in all of Boston’s voting neighborhoods.

In JP, Markey won all 21 precincts  and beat Kennedy 11,083 to 3,271 – a landslide victory – without really campaigning that much in the neighborhood. Markey and Kennedy had made a some appearances in JP in the last few weeks, but both candidates largely hit other spots in Boston and statewide down the stretch.

Overall, Markey pulled out a big win statewide, citywide and in JP on Tuesday, Sept. 1, over Kennedy.

Kennedy kicked off his campaign more than a year ago and his star seemed to be rising without limit, and Markey had yet to even enter the race. But political contests are not sprints, but rather long-distance runs, and Markey and his Nike shoes were not to be counted out – prevailing in the long haul.

In JP, Markey claimed every precincts, most of them by several hundred votes. Some, like 10-7 at the Julia Martin House on Bickford Street were close, with Markey winning by only 27 votes – 268 to 241 – but that was as close as Kennedy got in any precinct of JP. The most lopsided victories was a 570 vote margin (748 to 178) at 10-9 in Jamaica Plain, and a 686 vote victory (833 to 147) at the Bowditch School in 19-6. The one-sided tally was likely bolstered by massive support for Markey by JP residents attached to New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, both of whom backed Markey heavily.

Markey pulled out the statewide win with 55 percent of the vote to Kennedy’s 44.6 percent of the vote. In Boston citywide, it was even more lopsided as Markey collected 59 percent of the vote (77,518) to Kennedy’s 40 percent (52,485).

Markey enjoyed strong support in Boston, western Massachusetts, and also on Cape Ann. Kennedy showed strength in southeast Massachusetts and central Massachusetts – as well as in Chelsea, Revere, and Lynn.

In his concession speech on the night of Sept. 1, Kennedy said his coalition will continue.

“The Senator is a good man,” he said of Markey. “You’ve never heard me say otherwise. I know it was difficult between us at times — good elections get heated — but I am grateful for our debates, for his commitment to this Commonwealth, and for the energy and enthusiasm that he brought to this race. Obviously, these results are not the ones we were hoping for…We built a campaign for the people that our politics too often locks out and leaves behind. We built a campaign for Lawrence and Chelsea and New Bedford and Roxbury and Brockton and Springfield and Lowell and Worcester. We built a campaign for working folks — of every color and creed — who carry the economic injustice of this country on their backs. This campaign’s coalition will endure.”


In several races locally, state leaders were unopposed, making for no high-profile local elections, but votes were cast nonetheless.

*State Rep. Nika Elugardo got 7,908 votes.

*State Sen. Sonia Chang Diaz won her unopposed race with 31,173 votes.

*Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley collected 82,581 votes in the Boston portions of her sprawling district (which also encompasses other communities north and south of the city).

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