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Ocasio-Cortez Endorses Markey As He Faces Potential Kennedy Challenge

Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey picked up a major endorsement in his reelection bid Friday: U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the lead House co-sponsor of Markey’s Green New Deal bill.

The endorsement from the New York progressive congresswoman — who at 29 is also now the youngest House member — came as U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III mulls a primary challenge to Markey by making a pitch for generational change.

In a campaign video, Ocasio-Cortez called Markey “a proud and strong progressive champion,” and praised his push for the broad climate change legislation when other lawmakers shied away for fear it was too much, too fast.

“When I first got to Congress and we started to discuss big, bold plans — a solution on the scale of the crisis — many members shied away,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

“And Ed Markey was one of the few people that had the courage to stand up and take a chance,” Ocasio-Cortez continued, adding the Malden Democrat is “not just resting on his record of the past, but he’s aggressively pursuing an agenda for the future.”

Markey hailed the nod from Ocasio-Cortez. In a statement, he called her “the kind of generational leader we need to make the bold goals of the Green New Deal a reality.”

A Kennedy spokeswoman told WBUR he plans to speak to Democrats at this weekend’s state party convention in Springfield before making a final decision.

The Newton Democrat is scheduled to take part in a panel discussion on race at the convention, while Markey will give a keynote speech.

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Kimberly Atkins Twitter Senior News Correspondent
Kimberly Atkins is a senior news correspondent for WBUR, covering national political news from Washington, D.C., with a New England focus.

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