SPILKA, DeLEO STAND BY MARKEY IN SENATE RACE
By Matt Murphy
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, SEPT. 9, 2019.....With U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy weighing a run against U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, the two top Democrats on Beacon Hill said Monday they would honor their prior commitments to support Markey's re-election bid.
Senate President Karen Spilka and House Speaker Robert DeLeo both said Monday that their support for Markey's re-election was not wavering in light of Kennedy's interest in the seat.
"I stand by my endorsement of Senator Markey," Spilka said, flatly.
Markey late last month highlighted the support of 116 state legislators, including DeLeo and Spilka, as he tried to close ranks in response to Kennedy's public confirmation of his interest in the Senate race.
DeLeo echoed Spilka's support for Markey, noting that he represented the speaker's hometown of Winthrop when he was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
"I've known the senator since he was a congressman in my particular district. Known him for a period of time, respect the work he did," DeLeo said gof Markey. "In addition to that, I would also have to say I've also worked with and known Congressman Kennedy as well and respect the work he does in Congress but I would also intend to keep my commitment to Senator Markey."
Asked if an intraparty fight for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts could be harmful for Democrats, DeLeo said he would not be surprised to hear some people say that, but disagrees.
"I think that in our democracy, so to speak, everyone and anyone has a right to choose to run for whatever seat that they wish to do so, and that's the democratic way," DeLeo said.
Democrats Shannon Liss-Riordan and Steve Pemberton are also running in the 2020 Democratic primary for Senate and plan to join Markey in addressing party activists this weekend in Springfield when the Massachusetts Democratic Party hosts its annual convention at the MassMutual Center.
Kennedy plans to attend the convention, and take part in a panel discussion on race and politics, but will not take part in the main speaking program.
A Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll released over the weekend found that the 38-year-old Kennedy would start a Senate race against Markey, 73, and three other Democrats with a sizable advantage.
Kennedy led a five-person field that included former Republican Allen Waters by nine points with a 35 percent to 26 percent advantage over Markey in the Suffolk poll, and held a larger 42 percent to 28 percent lead over Markey in a head-to-head matchup.
Since Kennedy's interest in the race became public, Markey has tried to solidify his support by rolling out a number of endorsements, including those from legislators.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 93 endorsed Markey over the weekend, calling his decades in Washington "one of his strongest assets."
"With so much at stake in the U.S. Senate, now more than ever, we need seasoned leaders like Ed Markey fighting for us," Council 93 Executive Director Mark Bernard said.
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