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Markey And Kennedy In A Virtual Fundraising Tie As Senate Campaign Enters Summer

Rep. Joe Kennedy III, left, elbow-bumps Sen. Edward Markey after their debate for the Democratic primary for senator from Massachusetts, June 1, 2020, in Springfield, Mass. (Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via AP, Pool)
Rep. Joe Kennedy III, left, elbow-bumps Sen. Edward Markey after their debate for the Democratic primary for senator from Massachusetts, June 1, 2020, in Springfield, Mass. (Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via AP, Pool)

Sen. Edward Markey raised more than $1.9 million in the past three months, ending the quarter with about $4.8 million in cash left in his campaign account, campaign manager John Walsh said Wednesday.

Congressman Joe Kennedy III, Markey's Democratic primary challenger, also announced that he had raised over $1.9 million in the second quarter of the year - more than $1 million of that in June alone - leaving him with about $4.7 million in cash in his account.

Markey's campaign received about 33,700 donations in the second quarter, Walsh said. The average donation was just over $56.

Walsh credited the fundraising haul in part on an effort to encourage individual supporters to become fundraisers themselves by reaching out to their friends, family, and neighbors and also on Markey's backing of liberal initiatives like the Green New Deal, which Kennedy also supports.

"These donations are indicative of the momentum of this campaign," Walsh said in a written statement. "From Pittsfield to Provincetown, from Springfield to Somerville, and from Newburyport to Northampton, we are witnessing a surge of enthusiasm."

Kennedy was able to raise the second quarter haul despite despite temporarily suspending political operations, including fundraising, in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic and not resuming digital fundraising or virtual fundraising events until the last days of April, campaign manager Nick Clemons said in a press release Wednesday.

Clemons also said that Kennedy used his email list to raise over $100,000 for organizations and workers on the front lines of COVID response and $15,000 in grassroots donations for Black-led racial justice organizations.

"These strong fundraising numbers reflect the energy for Joe and the momentum behind our efforts to bring Massachusetts stronger leadership to the United States Senate," Clemons said in a press release.

Kennedy had been edging out Markey in fundraising. At the end of March, Kennedy reported more than $6.2 million in cash on hand in his campaign account compared with $4.4 million for Markey.

The campaign has been overshadowed by the pandemic, forcing both candidates to replace traditional campaign rallies with virtual town halls.

Markey, 73, has served in Congress for decades - first in the House and later in the Senate.

The 39-year-old Kennedy, who currently represents the state's 4th Congressional District, is a member of the state's most storied political family.

Kennedy is the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, who was attorney general in his brother John F. Kennedy's White House before being elected to the U.S. Senate representing New York. His father represented Massachusetts in the U.S. House.

The primary is Sept. 1.

Kevin O'Connor, an attorney, and Shiva Ayyadurai, who ran as an independent in the 2018 Senate race, are vying for the Republican nomination.

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