WASHINGTON – Tuesday, voters ended the Kennedy family winning streak in Massachusetts.
Sen. Ed Markey, the incumbent, defeated Rep. Joe Kennedy III in the Democratic primary.
In a concession speech Tuesday night, Kennedy said he would "pledge my support to him and his campaign in the months ahead"
"The senator is a good man," Kennedy said. "You have never heard me say otherwise."
Markey, 74, was the front-runner in a closely watched race nationally.
Several months ago, Kennedy led in polling, but Markey recently took the lead in multiple polls. According to an Emerson poll released last week, Markey was at 56% while Kennedy was at 44% with a 4.6-percentage-point margin of error.
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Markey, a liberal, was first elected to the Senate in 2013 but has been a member of Congress for more than 40 years. Despite running against a fresher face, Markey received the backing of many young voters and liberals such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., with whom Markey co-sponsored the Green New Deal, a proposal to counter climate change and economic inequality.
Markey painted himself as an anti-establishment candidate going up against a member of one of the most storied political families in U.S. history.
Kennedy, 39, was elected to the House in 2013 and scored big-name endorsements, including the backing of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Throughout the campaign, Kennedy claimed Markey has not done enough as senator and hit him for his record on racial inequity. Kennedy is the son of former Massachusetts Rep. Joseph Kennedy II and grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, the late U.S. attorney general and New York senator.
Kennedy became the first member of his family to lose a congressional election in the state of Massachusetts.
Incumbent Rep. Richard Neal defeats liberal challenger
Massachusetts Rep. Richard Neal, who has been a member of Congress for 30 years, won the Democratic nomination over his young liberal challenger, Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse.
Other high-profile Democrats have been ousted by challengers further to the left. Jamaal Bowman of New York and Cori Bush of Missouri, both backed by Justice Democrats, a left-leaning political action committee, beat incumbents in primaries. Morse, 31, also received support from Ocasio-Cortez.
Neal, 71, is the chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means committee.
Morse was accused of inappropriate sexual contact with students when he was a guest lecturer at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, according to a report in the school's student newspaper, The Daily Collegian.
In a statement posted to Twitter, Morse said, "I have never, in my life, had a non-consensual sexual encounter with anyone. I have never used my position of power as Mayor and UMass lecturer for romantic or sexual gain, or to take advantage of students."
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Record turnout was expected in primary
Despite voting amid the coronavirus pandemic, the state prepared for a new turnout record, anticipating at least 1.35 million ballots to be cast.
William Glavin, Massachusetts' secretary of commonwealth, said Monday that because of the amount of mail-in ballots, along with in-person votes, counting will probably be slower than in previous years.
Gov. Charlie Baker signed an order that allowed all Massachusetts voters to vote by mail for Tuesday’s primary, in addition to the general election in November.
There were still in-person polling places for voters who chose not to vote by mail.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 2020 Massachusetts primary: Markey faces Kennedy, Neal vs. Morse