There once was a time when just being a Kennedy was enough to win. The Kennedys have never lost a congressional race in Massachusetts – that is, until now.

U.S. Senator Ed Markey sailed to victory in Tuesday's Democrat primary by defeating Representative Joseph Kennedy by a pretty impressive margin. Markey's win solidifies the young, progressive influence over the changing Democrat Party. It also signifies the end of an era for more traditional liberal Democrats who supported the Kennedy clan for so many decades.

The same young progressives who re-elected the old-timer Ed Markey were too young to remember Ted Kennedy, who died in 2009 after serving in the U.S. Senate for almost 47 years years. They certainly have no connection to Joe Kennedy's grandfather, Senator Robert F. Kenedy, who was assassinated in 1968, or his great uncle John F. Kennedy, who was gunned down during his term as president in 1963.

Young progressive Democrats are excited by Markey, who at 74 years old shares many of their progressive views, particularly as they pertain to the environment. It also helps that Markey was endorsed by the progressive rock star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Kennedy thought that the family name, some boyish looks, and a few bucks would deliver a victory on primary election day. But it seems Massachusetts voters have closed the book on Camelot and have moved on in a different direction.

There once was a time in a place called Massachusetts, where simply being a Kennedy was enough. It seems those days are gone now and so is the last member of the Kennedy clan to serve Massachusetts in Congress. At least for now.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

WBSM-AM/AM 1420 logo
Enter your number to get our free mobile app

More From WBSM-AM/AM 1420