United States Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) coasted past his Republican challenger Tuesday, securing his return to the Senate just over two months after he defeated U.S. Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-Mass.) in a hard-fought primary.
Markey easily beat Republican Kevin O’Connor, a Dover lawyer who backed President Donald J. Trump. The Associated Press projected his victory just after polls closed in Massachusetts at 8 p.m.
“Now is our moment to think big, build big, be big,” Markey said in a livestreamed acceptance speech just after 9:15 p.m. “As individuals, as political leaders, as a nation, we must turn what must be done into what gets done. In 2021, we will put justice on the floor of the United States Senate.”
Markey has garnered significant support from young progressives, who rallied behind him in the primary. He also significantly out-fundraised O’Connor, who was a first-time candidate. The two only debated once.
Markey, who has served in the Senate since 2013, predicted a victory for former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. “whether it will be later tonight, or in the coming days after every vote has been counted.”
“There is an invisible contract that you sign at birth — a promise: every hour we work means longer days of freedom and security,” Markey said, recycling a line from a signature commercial his campaign produced during the Democratic primary against Kennedy. “But when you break the sacred contract, the people make a revolution. That revolution is happening at the polls today.”
U.S. Representatives Ayanna S. Pressley (D-Mass.) and Katherine M. Clark (D-Mass.), who represent respective parts of Cambridge in the U.S. House, also both cruised to re-election. Clark, who is running to become the Assistant Speaker of the House, beat Republican challenger Caroline Colarusso, a Stoneham Selectwoman. Pressley did not face a Republican challenger, but handily defeated independent Roy Owens.
“Our campaign, and our movement, has always been about the people. And you have never lost sight of that,” Pressley said in a Zoom speech just after 9 p.m. “In the midst of unprecedented hurt, we have shown unprecedented community, unprecedented love, and unprecedented voter turnout right here in the Massachusetts Seventh, and across America.”
All eight Democrats running to represent parts of Cambridge in the Massachusetts State Legislature were unopposed Tuesday.
Incumbent State Senators Sal N. DiDomenico, Joseph A. Boncore, and Patricia D. Jehlen were all reelected without a challenge. Jehlen fended off a primary challenge in September.
Steven Owens, a longtime Democratic Party organizer who won a three-way primary in September, was elected to replace outgoing State Representative Jonathan Hecht.
“One of the things that I found being a member of the state and local Democrats is, in order to push progressive policies, you can have a progressive party platform, but the party platform isn’t really a living document unless legislators are following it,” Owens said of his decision to run before polls closed Tuesday.
State Representatives David M. Rogers, Marjorie C. Decker, Mike Connolly, Jay D. Livingstone were all re-elected without competition.
Owens said he doesn’t worry about the one-party rule in Cambridge and that candidates “had a conversation about how the voters wanted the district to be represented in the primary.”
“The old saying is that, yeah, there are two parties in Massachusetts — they’re just both Democrats,” Owens said. “We had a high turnout primary, we had very highly-informed voters, and we had that conversation. Maybe it was a little bit to the left conversation than a general election conversation would have been, but that’s the nature of this district.”
—Staff writer Jasper G. Goodman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Jasper_Goodman.