Democratic Rivals Kennedy and Markey to Debate on June 1
Incumbent Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Edward J. Markey and his Democratic primary challenger U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III will debate Monday from the Western Mass News studio Springfield.
The televised and livestreamed debate was postponed from March because of the pandemic. It's the first public matchup for the two since their first debate was staged in February at WGBH in Boston.
Kennedy, 39, a Harvard Law School graduate and former prosecutor, represents the 4th Congressional District in Massachusetts, an area that stretches from the Boston suburbs to parts of the South Coast. The Newton resident, who hails from a political family, won his seat in Congress in 2012.
Markey, 73, served 37 years in the U.S. House of Representatives before winning a 2013 special election to the U.S. Senate. The 1972 Boston College Law School graduate served in the U.S. Army Reserve before launching his political career as a state rep from his hometown of Malden.
The primary race has become sharper in recent weeks, with Kennedy accusing Markey of "absent leadership" and Markey accusing Kennedy of playing "cheap politics" during the coronavirus pandemic. At last count, Kennedy was outpacing Markey in fundraising.
The debate is focused on the Sept. 1 Democratic primary, and organizers excluded Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Kevin O'Connor. O'Connor wrote a letter to WCVB on Friday demanding a seat on the stage, saying "the race is portrayed as a deciding event, which it is not."
The debate will be moderated by four journalists: Western Mass News anchor Dave Madsen; Bob Oakes, host of WBUR's Morning Edition; Boston Globe columnist Adrian Walker; and Janet Wu, host of WCVB's "On the Record."
The June 1 debate starts at 7 p.m., and will be aired and streamed from several local news stations and outlets.