The Democratic Party held three much-watched and hotly contested primaries in the state of Massachusetts Tuesday. Richard Neal (of the 1st district, much of the western portion of the state) and Stephen Lynch (of the 8th district, part of Boston, and the near suburbs to the south) both had to defend their renomination against well-financed challengers. Also, Senator Ed Markey had to face down a Kennedy, the grandson of one-time Attorney General — and one-time US Senator from New York — Robert Kennedy.
Markey was first elected a member of the House in the same year that James Earl Carter won the Presidency: in 1976. Markey didn’t move up to the Senate until a special election in 2013 after Kerry had vacated his Senate seat to become Secretary of State.
Markey’s unsuccessful opponent, Joseph Kennedy III, is a member of the House from the 4th district (which hugs the state’s border with Rhode Island).
The Thing to Know:
Each of the incumbents named above, Neal, Lynch, and Markey, won his primary and in this very blue state can be expected to win reelection in November. On a whole, the night was a defeat for younger ‘progressive’ forces trying to disrupt the established and somewhat more ‘centrist’ old guard. The old guard won, across the board.