On Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, the final results of the Massachusetts Democratic Senate Primary were released, with Sen. Ed Markey winning back his senate seat of 44 years against his opponent, former congressman Joe Kennedy III. The results published in the Associated Press detail that Sen. Markey won 55.39 percent of the votes, beating Kennedy, who received 44.6 percent of the votes, with a margin of just under 11 percent. Sen. Markey is a co-author of the Green New Deal along with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The Green New Deal would push for a government plan to combat climate change through job creation and a switch to more renewable sources of energy, according to Rep. Ocasio-Cortez. Globally, the Green New Deal calls for “Governments to allocate a significant share of stimulus funding to green sectors and set out three objectives: Economic Recovery, Poverty Eradication and Reduced Carbon Emissions and Ecosystem Degradation,” according to the United Nations. What exactly would a Green New Deal mean with Markey in the Senate again?
Sen. Markey focused his campaign a lot around the Green New Deal specifically, putting it at the forefront of the issues he was campaigning on. Over the past couple of years, awareness of climate change and environmental issues has resulted in a push for change, particularly in the mainstream media. Climate marches all over the world called for governments across the globe to create solutions to the climate crisis. For Sen. Markey, putting the Green New Deal at the forefront of his campaign seemed to have won him popularity amongst younger voters in Massachusetts. Markey had gained endorsement from the Sunrise Movement, made up of primarily young Americans to stop climate change and push for a Green New Deal. The endorsement from the Sunrise Movement helped push Markey’s campaign and his stance on issues of climate change to the forefront, and gain support from voters in favor of a Green New Deal. Senator Markey’s focus on this important issue helped favor his campaign. According to the Washington Post, “Kennedy’s message of generational change, which helped power some primary challenges in other states, did not resonate as much as Markey’s focus on his long liberal record and his sponsorship of the Green New Deal.” The two opponents were well liked amongst voters in Massachusetts, but in the end, Markey gained the upper hand, allowing him to win the election.
The race between Kennedy and Markey was heated, but neither candidate had anything bad to say about the other after the race. According to Kennedy, “It was difficult at times between us. Good elections often get heated. But I’m grateful for the debates, for his commitment to our commonwealth and for the energy and enthusiasm that he brought to this race.” While Kennedy got a late endorsement from House speaker Nancy Pelosi, Markey had already gained mass support from young voters, and endorsements from organizations that work primarily in climate change pushing his favor further during the course of the race. The senator’s push for the Green New Deal, and endorsements from Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and the Sunrise Movement helped him pull ahead and win against Kennedy in the Democratic Primary. Following the Democratic Primary, Senator Markey now goes up against Republican primary winner, Kevin O’Connor, in November for his seat in the Senate.