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Markey reelected in landslide victory

Democratic incumbent Sen. Ed Markey defeated Republican challenger Kevin O’Connor in a landslide Tuesday to keep his U.S Senate seat.

Incumbent Sen. Ed Markey won his senatorial race against Kevin O’Connor on Nov. 3. LAURYN ALLEN | DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

The Associated Press called the race shortly after polls closed at 8 p.m. Markey had defeated Rep. Joe Kennedy in the Sept. 1 Massachusetts primary. 

Markey, who has served in Congress for more than 40 years, co-authored the Green New Deal alongside Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

O’Connor, a lawyer and political newcomer who has served the legal community in Boston for three decades, ran on the platform of bringing to Washington a bipartisan lawmaking attitude, similar to that of state government in the Commonwealth.

In his victory speech Tuesday night from Boston, broadcasted to viewers through his website, Markey said he appreciates that O’Connor ran a respectful campaign.

“I spoke with my opponent, Kevin O’Connor, just moments ago and I extended my thanks for a civil, spirited campaign,” Markey said. “Our democracy is stronger because of the discussion that took place throughout the general election.”

Markey, speaking in a near-empty room, thanked his coalition of young voters, dubbed the “Markeyverse,” for being younger reflections of himself.

“To the Markeyverse, in each of you, I saw myself,” Markey said, “passionate disruptors and changemakers, unrelenting optimists. You might be sitting in front of a laptop screen with a phone in hand. I know you will never let anyone tell you where to stand.”

Markey said this younger generation of voters is ready to make progress in the United States.

“We built not only a campaign, but a real grassroots movement, a movement of progressive ideals and diverse voices,” Markey said, “a movement for justice, a movement to dismantle the status quo and achieve long-overdue progress for America.”

Markey said he will use his position to fight for science as the country works to end the coronavirus pandemic and climate change, moving “from peril to progress.”

“Then in the face of the existential climate crisis, our elected leaders listen to the young people demanding change, trust them to lead the way and pass a Green New Deal,” Markey said. “A Green New Deal is not just about pushing to the left. It’s about pushing what’s right.”

Early polling showed Markey was favored to win. O’Connor said in his concession speech he called Markey to congratulate him on the “well-earned” victory. He said he faced a difficult challenge in uprooting a strong Democratic presence in Massachusetts.

“[Markey has] had a tremendous year in terms of winning a primary that was a difficult challenge,” O’Connor said. “We faced enormous odds. The weight of the system is so tilted in favor of the established interests.”

Speaking to an in-person audience of dozens at Amrheins in South Boston, O’Connor said that despite his loss, his campaign was able to further the discussion of democracy in Massachusetts.

“You learn in competition that the victory isn’t this game, it’s the next game,” O’Connor said. “I believe we have advanced the cause for public safety, good jobs and for Massachusetts.”

O’Connor said he and his team will continue their presence in Massachusetts politics.

“I told our team: ‘Win, lose or draw, Nov. 4 we go back to work,’” O’Connor said. “That’s exactly the spirit in which we’re going to attack it.”

In concluding his speech, Markey said it is time for everyone to follow the younger generation into the future.

“Our young people are ready. Let us join them,” Markey said. “I am so proud of this campaign and what we stand for. And I have never been more hopeful about the future of our country.”

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