Markey ‘wins’ state Dem convention
Cancellation continues an under-the-radar race
A correction has been added to this story clarifying that Ed Markey and Joe Kennedy III agreed that Markey would have won the convention and Kennedy would have won the necessary support to appear on the primary ballot.
ED MARKEY, with rival Joe Kennedy III’s blessing, is declaring himself the winner of the state Democratic Party’s endorsement for US Senate without even having to go to the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell and give a speech.
Gus Bickford, the chairman of the party, said on Monday that he was moving to cancel the May 30 convention because of the coronavirus pandemic. Bickford’s press release said Markey and Kennedy agreed the incumbent senator would have won the convention and Kennedy would have garnered the necessary 15 percent support of convention delegates to make it on to the primary ballot.
Bickford’s decision to cancel the convention goes before the full state committee for a ratifying vote at a virtual meeting on April 4. The outcome gives Markey bragging rights for holding the lead among Democratic insiders while allowing Kennedy to cast himself as the more moderate alternative with the famous name.
In a joint statement, Markey and Kennedy hailed the decision as “responsive and responsible.” John Walsh, Markey’s campaign manager, issued a separate statement saying both campaigns had fought hard for support at the caucuses and his candidate had come out on top with the support of 70 percent of the delegates elected through March 10.
“Our campaign saw incredible turnout by voters who came to caucus for Ed Markey because they know he is a true progressive champion who fights for the people of the Commonwealth,” Walsh said.Kennedy moved on with his COVID-19 campaign schedule,virtually hosting Boston chef Tiffani Faison (Sweet Cheeks BBQ, Tiger Mama, and Fools Errand) as a special guest on a streaming broadcast. Faison walked Kennedy through her recipe for soy sauce and cola poached chicken while he talked about his efforts to track down ventilators and personal protective equipment.
It’s unclear whether the state party’s decision is a precursor of what’s coming with the national party conventions. The Democratic National Convention is scheduled for July 10 in Milwaukee and the Republican convention is set for August 24 in Charlotte. Party officials say the conventions are still on for now, with some saying virtual conventions could be a possibility if the coronavirus cloud doesn’t lift. Bickford explored the idea of virtual conventions in Massachusetts, but ultimately decided that wouldn’t work.