BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — In Tuesday’s state primary, Congressman Joe Kennedy conceded to U.S. Senator Ed Markey after failing to get over 50 percent of the vote.
The election, which was one of the nation's most heated primary races, marked the first time in history a Kennedy has lost an election in Massachusetts.
"We may have lost the final vote count tonight, but we built a coalition that will endure," Kennedy said in his concession speech.
The Congressman started off strong at the beginning of his campaign, often times leading in polls, but it was not enough to upend the experience and reach of Senator Markey.
Markey congratulated Kennedy on the tenacity of his campaign.
"And I extended my respect and congratulations for a campaign that has been fierce at times," Markey said, "but always fueled by a shared commitment to the people of this great commonwealth."
Kennedy is now putting his support behind Markey and the Democratic Party in the general election.
"The senator is a good man, you have never heard me say otherwise," he said. "It was difficult at times between us, good elections often get heated."
Senator Markey also looked toward the future in his remarks, by calling on young people to take action.
"So to the young people fighting in this movement for change, here is my charge to you. March in the streets, protest, run for school committee, or city council, or the state legislature--and win," Markey said. "But don't just challenge the status quo--dismantle it. Take things over."
Both candidates highlighted the need to continue fighting for progressive ideas and change.
"We made it clear that we'd rather lose fighting as hard as we could for what we believe in, than in finding the middle ground," Markey said. "The progressive movement knows how to fight, we will not surrender."
Markey will face off with Republican candidate Kevin O’Connor in the upcoming November election.
WBZ's James Rojas (@JamesRojasWBZ) reports