Rep. Joe Kennedy III. (Shari Small/WBZ NewsRadio)
BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Congressman Joe Kennedy III formally announced Saturday that he is running for the U.S. Senate, taking on incumbent Sen. Ed Markey.
More than 100 supporters came out to the East Boston Social Center to hear the four-term congressman’s formal announcement, where Kennedy told the crowd he is running "because our country is at a moment of truth."
Kennedy said that if elected, he will show up and be there for the people of Massachusetts.
“Showing up around our state, bringing those voices that I hear down to Washington, fighting for those policies in D.C., and changing the politics that we confront,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy acknowledged that it is going to be a tough race against Markey, but also said he can do better for Massachusetts.
“When it comes to trying to make sure that we are inclusive of those voices, fighting for them down in Washington, passing the policies that are necessary, and making the structural change that we need to live up to the values that are enshrined in our founding documents that brought my family here all those years ago,” Kennedy said. “I do think I can do better.”
Immediately after the announcement, the Teamsters Local 25 — the largest teamsters union in the state — came out in support of Kennedy.
Democrat Steve Pemberton and attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan both previously declared their candidacy for the Senate, making Kennedy the third challenger to Markey.
On Saturday, Markey challenged his opponents to a debate on climate change, and said he was looking for a "format that will provide the best opportunity for voters to hear from all of the candidates."
"I was very disappointed at the Democratic National Committee's refusal to hold a debate a on climate change for our presidential candidates," Markey said in a campaign video. "In Massachusetts, we should do better than that."
Markey’s senior campaign director John Walsh was asked on Saturday how Markey’s challengers would approach the climate issue.
“I think contests are good for our party. I think contests are good for our country. But one of the advantages of having a contest for this seat is an opportunity to elevate the issue of climate change to the people of Massachusetts and America,” Walsh said. “I don’t know if there are differences yet, we’ll find out.”
WBZ NewsRadio's Shari Small (@ShariSmallNews) reports