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Sen. Ed Markey and Holyoke, Massachusetts Mayor Alex Morse earned the Working Families Party's Democratic primary endorsements for the contest on September 1. (Image: composite)

Massachusetts Progressive Candidates Outraise Centrist Opponents in Last Days of Primary Campaign

Both Sen. Ed Markey and Alex Morse outraised their opponents in recent days, even after an endorsement by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for Markey's challenger and a smear campaign directed at Morse.

Julia Conley

Progressives running in two high-profile Democratic primary elections in Massachusetts reported Friday that they outraised their centrist opponents in a recent fundraising push, raising hopes for the outcome of the September 1 primary in the state.

Sydney Levin-Epstein, special projects manager for Sen. Ed Markey, who is running to retain his seat, tweeted that the campaign raised triple the amount amassed by Rep. Joe Kennedy III's campaign since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) endorsed Kennedy on Thursday.

Kennedy, who Markey has denounced as a "progressive in name only," raised over $100,000 while Markey's campaign raised more than $300,000 via 9,000 individual contributions. 

Markey, who co-authored the Green New Deal with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), has rejected Kennedy's attempt to cast himself as a youthful candidate who will bring bold reforms to Massachusetts voters' lives. The senator condemned Kennedy in a recent debate for spending time working for a right-wing prosecutor, neglecting to prioritize action, and failing to back Medicare for All until 2019. 

Pelosi's endorsement angered progressives this week, with the Sunrise Movement saying it revealed a "ridiculous double standard," considering the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's (DCCC) blacklisting of vendors who work with candidates who challenge incumbent Democrats.

"In less than 24 hours, Ed raised $300,000 after Nancy Pelosi endorsed our opponent," tweeted Sam Delgado, a fellow with Markey's campaign. "The progressive movement is real, it's alive, and it's sticking with Ed."

Also on Friday, Holyoke, Massachusetts Mayor Alex Morse announced that his U.S. House campaign against longtime Rep. Richard Neal raised more than his opponent in the pre-primary filing period.

Morse amassed $475,000 in donations in recent weeks while Neal received about $367,400.

The vast majority of Morse's funds in recent weeks came in the form of small donations under $200, while just 1% of Neal's contributions were under $200. 

The news out of Morse's campaign follows a controversy over the mayor's consensual relationships, which the Massachusetts Democratic Party reportedly helped a College Democrats chapter to orchestrate. 

"Alex Morse looks very likely to join the ranks of new progressive millennials in Congress," tweeted TIME magazine correspondent Charlotte Alter.

Medicare for All advocate and infectious disease physician Robbie Goldstein, who is running to unseat Rep. Stephen Lynch, also outraised his opponent. Goldstein amassed $174,000 through 1,646 donations in the final FEC filing period while Lynch raised less than 10,000.


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