Joe Kennedy III, the grandnephew of President John F. Kennedy, recently announced his run for one of the Senate seats in Massachusetts, which is currently held by Ed Markey. Kennedy has held the House seat from the 3rd District of Massachusetts since 2013.
Many have wondered if the 39-year-old Brighton native should even bother running for this seat. I mean, why risk a guaranteed House seat for the slim chance of winning an incumbent Democrat’s Senate seat? However, this isn't the first time we've seen this type of an in-party race, especially recently.
In the 2018 midterms, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez challenged a 10-term incumbent, Joe Crowley, and won. The election of AOC symbolized a changing of the guard in the Democratic Party.
This progressive, Tea Party-like midterm turnout included many hyper-liberal legislators including AOC, Rep. Tlaib of Michigan, Rep. Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rep. Omar of Minnesota. These representatives, known jokingly as “The Squad,” have brought policy changes, such as the Green New Deal, to the House Floor.
Furthermore, we see younger candidates even in the Presidential race. There is Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, who is 37, and the 38-year-old Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii.
Now, what does this say for Rep. Kennedy? Well, it definitely shows that a younger, more relatable candidate has the possibility to win a primary. But should they run?
Personally, I believe that if we are choosing between two extremely similar candidates, and one isn't a minority or a woman, we should pick the younger of the two.
These candidates tend to be more in touch with the youth and the issues they have an interest in. For instance, in the case of Rep. Kennedy, he has taken strong stances on mental health, LGBTQ+ rights, and immigration, all of which have been heavily threatened in recent years due to the Trump Administration.
As well, the name Kennedy carries a lot of weight, and it would be ignorant to neglect this. Rep. Kennedy has a strong pull in the Democratic Party nationwide, as shown by having given the response to Trump's 2018 State of the Union. He can be a strong, young, progressive voice in the Senate. He is the face of the future of politics.
If we want more young people to vote, we need younger candidates. As we can see with Joe Biden, younger voters don't like the establishment. One Monmouth poll put Biden at getting just 6% of the 18-49 vote. Joe Kennedy III could be the presence that the younger generation needs on the Senate floor.